Wooded grasslands in Germany

    What is the used name in your country?
    Streuobstwiese, regional auch Obstwiese, Obstgarten, Bitz oder Bongert
    How/why/by, whom was it created?

    Research: Alexandra Kruse, Michael Roth, Johannes Dreer; upload: Bénédicte Gaillard: The entries are still in process


    Since stone age is known that people have eaten fruits.

    highest importance in Germany: 19th and 20th cent.

    Example Brandenburg: promotion by the Cistercian monks in the 13th cent. New influences and cultivars by the Hugenots in 16-17th cent. 18th -19th cent. kings promoted fruit trees (KRUSE 1999, p. 186ff)

    Occurs everywhere in Germany, but high density e.g. in Southern Germany, and in many local, hilly areas with low intensity farming close to farms (backyards), at the fringes of rural settlements.

    Wooded grasslands in Rothenburg an der Tauber in Germany

    Wooded grasslands in Rothenburg an der Tauber in Germany

    Wooded grassland landscape in Germany

    Wooded grassland landscape in Germany


    Bünger, Lydia, Doris Kölbach: Streuobst – Bindeglied zwischen Naturschutz und Landwirtschaft, Hrsg. Bundesamt für Naturschutz 1995, Dokumentation Natur und Landschaft, Bibliographie Nr. 69, 168

    Grill, Dieter & Herbert Keppel: Alte Apfel- und Birnensorten für den Streuobstbau, Leopold Stocker Verlag, Graz 2005. ISBN 3-7020-1087-4

    S.Hänggi, Hänggi, Edi Stöckli & Wolfgang Nentwig: Lebensräume Mitteleuropäischer Spinnen, Miscellanea Faunistica Helvetiae. Centre suisse de cartographie de la faune, Neuchatel 1995. ISBN 2-88414-008-5

    Hartmann, Walter: Farbatlas Alte Obstsorten, Ulmer, Stuttgart 2000, 2004 (2. Aufl.). ISBN 3-8001-3173-0

    Mader, Hans-Joachim: Die Tierwelt der Obstwiesen und intensiv bewirtschafteten Obstplantagen im quantitativen Vergleich in: Natur u. Landschaft, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1982,11, 371-377. ISSN 0028-0615


    There are different data bases: partly regionally

    Physical geography: description

    not too poor, Glatthaferwiesen special soil condition (substrate)

    altitude < 800

    moderate climate

    moderate hydrology

    flat to very steep slope

    South Aspect

    How is it used today?

    They are still in use, after decrease in use and diffusion, extent is increasing today
    Use of the grassland: twice a year: grazing bears risks (esp. for the roots by lying and walking) and advantages (fertilizer); attention with goats and horses,

    They are threatened because of a change in production, land use, infrastructure measures, choice towards half standard trees, or even quarter standard trees or espalier trees

    They are perceived as threatened by the German ministry for nature (Red List of Biotop types) conservation; experts and scientists, NGOs, also in several federal states it is listed as a protected biotope, e.g. Saxony.

    By whom is it perceived as threatened?
    State authorities
    Is it combined with/connected to something typical (traditional)?

    grazing (hay making), bee keeping

    apples, fruit juice, honey

    Is it connected to specific structures?

    extensive grazing: ponies, horses, cattle, sheep; bee keeping

    Is it connected to specific functions?

    ecological functions for plants and animals, biotope network / habitat (many diff. animal groups)

    Is it connected to specific values?

    aesthetic values at the fringe of rural settlements, especially in spring (flowering aspect). Many festivities relating to fruit trees flowering (e.g. Werder, Brandenburg).

    Do you have national approaches towards this landscape type?

    The Streuobstwiese has a high importance, ecologically and for regional identity. Very well known, but nevertheless important decrease since the 1950ies because of the “industrialization” of farming. A second reason for the loss of Streuobstwiesen is their location at the fringe of rural settlements, a favoured place for the development of new residential estates. As many rural settlements, especially in Western Germany have been growing massively since the 1950s, many Streuobstwiesen have been cut down for new building land. Many initiatives – local, regional, national in order to protect and to re-invest in “Streuobstwiesen”high standard trees (vers. low or half standard trees)many different cultivars and types

    mixed use of fruit productions and (grass) haymaking and/or pasturing

    combined with beekeeping

    2. Type

    grazed land, wet, close to floating water: Ash tree, wych elm, aspen, goat willow, small-leaved lime, oak and birch: Trees often in a row/ line

    3. Type

    Very little “forests” (Gehölz) within (in the middle) of grazed land, different species, often combined with wild fruit trees, with or without water in the middle