Quercus dentata 'Carl Ferris Miller' - Japanese Imperial Oak 'Carl Ferris Miller'

Herbert Heise: A Life for Garden Art

Drawn leaf of the Japanese Imperial Oak 'Carl Ferris Miller' (Quercus dentata 'Carl Ferris Miller')

The renowned landscape architect Herbert Heise takes over the tree sponsorship of an oak. For him, a tree of unusual significance: in 50 years, it will document how nature reacts to the changed climate.

The tree sponsor of the Japanese Imperial Oak 'Carl Ferris Miller'(Quercus dentata 'Carl Ferris Miller')
Prof. Dr Michael Goecke representing Herbert Heise

Our interaction with nature - soil degradation, loss of species, and climate change - has preoccupied Frankfurt landscape architect Herbert Heise throughout his professional career. At the University of Applied Sciences in Offenbach, he has been dealing with ecological and nature conservation issues as part of his teaching assignment for landscape and open space planning since the 1970s.

The 94-year-old is still very close to the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf. Here, at the former Federal Research Station of Horticulture Weihenstephan, he studied garden and landscape planning from 1948 to 1950 and deepened his knowledge from his gardening apprenticeship. At that time, he was one of the first students of Ulrich Wolf and Prof. Dr. Richard Hansen.

From 1952 onwards, he worked as an independent garden and landscape architect in Offenbach and Frankfurt am Main, where he impressed with his professional competence and implemented outstanding projects such as the Frankfurt ramparts redesign.

As an enthusiastic nature photographer, he also documents his work from the beginning and publishes - among other things - the book "Of Gardens, Plants and Landscapes" (in German: Von Gärten, Pflanzen und Landschaften). As a rich treasure of experience from a 50-year working life, the documentation traces not only his work but also the development of garden and landscape planning from 1950 onwards.

In 2007, five years after giving up his Landscape Architecture practice, he established the Herbert Heise Foundation for Garden Art and Landscape Culture. It is intended to commemorate his revered teacher - Ulrich Wolf - and is dedicated to promoting nature conservation and landscape management as well as culture and education in the garden art and Landscape Architecture field. Against this backdrop, the foundation supported, for example, the replanting of the spring quarter in the Weihenstephan Viewing Garden with a substantial sum in 2018.

In 2021, Herbert Heise was one of the tree sponsors of our anniversary campaign. So the circle closes once more from the former student Heise, for whom trees played such a significant role for 50 years, primarily as an inner-city design element and for climate improvement, to the 50th anniversary of the HSWT and the Weihenstephan arboretum. With regard to the effects of climate change, as a scientific experimental and observational field, it will help to develop recommendations for the use and maintenance of woody plants in the future. That is the hope of Professor Frank Blecken, with whose kind support this portrait was created. As chair of both Herbert Heise Foundations (for Garden Art and Landscape Culture and the Study Foundation for Landscape Architecture), he has also been privately connected with Herbert Heise for decades. When he visits the Arboretum as Heise's representative during the anniversary event, he will surely remember the countless extended walks he and his wife took jointly with the Heise couple. The love of nature and garden art is a strong bond: it unites not only the two gentlemen. It unifies all tree sponsors, all those involved in the project and all future users of the arboretum.

Young tree of Japanese Imperial Oak 'Carl Ferris Miller' (Quercus dentata 'C.F. Miller')

Distribution: Japan, Korea, North and West China; Variety: Belgium

Size: 15 metres high

Leaves: obovate, flat lobed, dull dark green, 10 to 25 cm long

Fruits: acorns, ovoid to round, in bunches

Picture of the trunk of the Japanese Imperial Oak 'Carl Ferris Miller' (Quercus dentata 'Carl Ferris Miller')
Branch of Japanese Imperial Oak 'Carl Ferris Miller' (Quercus dentata 'Carl Ferris Miller')
Leaf of Japanese Imperial Oak 'Carl Ferris Miller' (Quercus dentata 'Carl Ferris Miller')