Quercus castaneifolia 'Green spire' - Chestnut-leaved oak 'Green spire'

Paunzhausen: a community with character - and a sponsor tree in the arboretum

Drawn Tree of Chestnut-leaved Oak 'Green spire', Quercus castaneifolia 'Green spire'

The municipality of Paunzhausen in the Upper Bavarian district of Freising has about 1,500 inhabitants. With just under 13 square kilometres, it is the smallest in the region. Situated in the beautiful Hallertau region, the tranquil village is characterised above all by the magnificent surrounding nature - it is considered a true hiker's paradise.

The tree godmother of the chestnut-leaved oak 'Green spire', Quercus castaneifolia 'Green spire'.
Birgit Kasper for the community of Paunzhausen

"It would be important to me to maintain the village character of our town," says Mayor Hans Daniel. He has been in office since 2008 when he followed his grandfather and uncle into Paunzhausen's town hall. Daniel fulfils his duties as mayor voluntarily while managing his parents' farm with 30 dairy cows and farming for fodder. The fact that this farm is less than 100 metres from the town hall - so he can see from door to door - makes it easier for Daniel to reconcile both "jobs". "It's good that I coordinate my appointments myself. For example, I can take into account weather-related work peaks on the farm," explains the 42-year-old, emphasising that no other profession is as dependent on nature as agriculture. Therefore, he feels climate change very strongly in his daily work. Agriculture and society must learn to deal with it, the young mayor sums up. " Especially agriculture is far more innovative in this area than the public perceives," Daniel is convinced.

With this in mind, the municipality of Paunzhausen is now supporting the arboretum at the HSWT by sponsoring a chestnut-leaved oak (Quercus Castaneifolia "Green Spire"). Local councillor Birgit Kasper, who works at the University of Applied Sciences, introduced the anniversary project and suggested the tree sponsorship by the municipality. "For me, however, it is above all a commitment to Freising as a university location," says Daniel, adding: "We are normally rather reluctant to make donations, but the University of Applied Sciences tree planting campaign is simply a good thing."

With the former second mayor of Paunzhausen, Daniel had pursued the goal of initiating a climate or energy project every year, and it has been hitherto successful. However, these projects are not made public. "We in Paunzhausen help ourselves in many ways. Our associations are very committed, for example, to youth work. But that is always without fanfare. We don't make a big deal out of it if we find good solutions for the village community together," says Hans Daniel modestly. First of May, for example, the whole village helps to put up the maypole, and only in the community does it become an event. Of course, village life changes because the people, the environment and the circumstances also change, admits the committed mayor. But Paunzhausen's "community tree" on the University of Applied Sciences campus definitely sets a durable sign of cohesion that will endure for many decades to come - and for the generations to come in the mayor's office, despite all the societal, social or political changes.

Young tree of the chestnut-leaved oak 'Green Spire', Quercus castaneifolia 'Green spire'

Distribution: Caucasus, Iran; Variety: Hillier Nurseries, Romsey, England

Size: up to 30 metres high and 15 to 20 metres wide

Leaves: glossy dark green, 5 to 15 cm long, lanceolate

Flower: golden catkins, 7 to 10 cm

Fruits: long ovoid, 2 to 3 cm, solitary or in pairs

Picture of the trunk of the chestnut-leaved oak, Quercus castaneifolia 'Green spire'.
Branches of the chestnut-leaved oak, Quercus castaneifolia 'Green spire'
Foliage of the chestnut-leaved oak, Quercus castaneifolia 'Green spire'