The couple was born in Essen. Together, they go to Münster to study. Afterwards, they moved to Zurich, as he was offered a position at the ETH to do his doctorate there. "I specialised in IT early on," says the 66-year-old. The topic of his doctoral thesis is: "Biotope Protection and Spatial Planning in connection with GIS (Geographical Information Systems)". At the time, Gertrud Beckers-Kias was studying at the University of Applied Sciences in Zurich and - at the same time - working as a teacher of creative design in adult education. She says, "Art, that's my calling!" Both well-trained in their respective fields, they eventually come to Freising. It was here that Ulrich Kias took up his professorship more than 30 years ago. It is the first in the field of landscape informatics in entire Germany. And it sounds very modest when Kias says he was simply in the right place at the right time. He is now retired but still supports his successor with a teaching assignment. In addition, he has been president of the Landscape Research Society (FLL) since 2018. On the comment that this doesn't automatically sound like retirement, Kias laughs: "Let's put it this way: if I want something to do, I have something to do!"
In their free time, the two go on bike trips together. And, while he also likes to be in the mountains - among other things - as a tour guide with the German Alpine Club - his wife has discovered swimming in the ponds around Freising for herself. At home, Gertrud Beckers-Kias loves to garden. "We have a big pine tree in front of the house," she says. She could also have been a choice in the arboretum. But the reasons why they ultimately chose the silver lime are as varied as they are ravishing: its beautiful even growth and the large crown as a visual eye-catcher are mentioned. The couple would also have thought of the former function of a village lime tree as a meeting place at social occasions. According to the tree horoscope of the ancient Celts, the lime tree also stands for calmness, composure and a sensitive character, Ulrich Kias explains. And his wife notes that she also had her two grandchildren in mind when she sponsored the tree. In the end, the plant will be built for future generations.
It is a highly touching belief that these grandchildren will walk to the silver lime tree in the arboretum in 50 years and think of their grandparents. And who knows - maybe they will even share Grandpa's interest and, as researching landscape architects or horticultural engineers, effectively clarify how the silver lime reacts to a changed climate?