Späth Arboretum

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Late Arboretum
Coat of arms of Berlin.svg
Park in Berlin
Late Arboretum
View of the arboretum , May 2010
Basic data
place Berlin
District Baumschulenweg
Created 1870-1879
Surrounding streets Heidekampgraben, Späthstrasse
Buildings former house and farm building
User groups Pedestrian traffic , researchers
Technical specifications
Parking area 35,000 m²

The Späth Arboretum (also Späthsches Arboretum ) in Berlin is a 3.5  hectare large Arboretum in the district of Baumschulenweg of Treptow-Koepenick . It goes back to the nursery Ludwig Späth , at the time still located outside the gates of Berlin in the Köllnische Heide , which Franz Späth expanded in the second half of the 19th century with around 225  hectares (1900) to become the world's largest tree nursery . Späthstraße , which was newly laid out for the park-like property in the style of English landscape gardens , has been named after him since 1903.

The arboretum in Baumschulenweg, a separate Berlin district since 1945, now (as of 2014) houses over 4,000  plant species . Since 1966, it has been open to everyone on some days of the week during the summer months. The rest of the time, it is used by the Biology Faculty of Berlin's Humboldt University with around 200 students for teaching, research and public relations.


Herrenhaus Späth on the premises
Founder Franz Späth , 1899

Franz Späth had the garden of his house, built in 1874, enlarged by the Berlin city gardening director Johann Heinrich Gustav Meyer until 1879 into an arboretum in the style of English landscape gardens. The site was gradually expanded and around 1900 was considered to be the world's largest tree nursery with international trade connections at the time. From 1912, shortly before Franz Späth's death, his son Hellmut continued to run the company. In 1928 a rock garden was created in an underground garden . The tree population was first recorded in 1930, which showed 4500 different species and forms . The arboretum became a meeting point for many well-known dendrologists , such as Gerd Krüssmann .

During the Second World War , the site was badly damaged , especially during the Battle of Berlin . Two years after Hellmut Späth's death, the arboretum was made public property in 1947 and, in 1961, affiliated to the Institute for Special Botany at Humboldt University, which had been founded the year before .

The institute used the former Späth mansion for research and teaching. At the same time it was found that after the construction of the Berlin Wall there was no botanical garden in the eastern part of the city . In 1963 the Index Seminum , a seed catalog for the international exchange of seeds , was published for the first time . The directory was published annually and was sent to over 600 botanical gardens and related institutes. Three years later the arboretum opened to the public. Since then, public tours with a concert have been offered four times a year. In 1976, the large pond was extensively repaired - the original source of the Heidekampgraben .

A year later, the Berlin magistrate put the entire ensemble on the state monument list. For the 100th anniversary of the arboretum in 1979, an anniversary conference was held with around 200 international guests. As a gift from the Treptow District Council, the institute received a sculpture by Jan Skuin entitled Megasporophyll von Cycas , which represents a sporophyll and has been in front of the building since 1980. 1981 appeared stamp series rare trees , which drew on the findings of the arboretum.

The restructuring after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful revolution also changed the Humboldt University. In 1995, the arboretum including the manor house was incorporated into the Institute of Biology of the University's Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences . In 1999 a commemorative publication was published to mark the 120th anniversary.

Public recognition

The Berlin Senate , which has been responsible since 1990, honored Späth's work on the 115th anniversary in 1994 by inaugurating a Berlin memorial plaque on the building. Another sculpture by the sculptor Jan Skuin with the title Urpflanze was added. Three years later, the International Dendrology Society awarded the Späth Arboretum the only one of its kind in Germany with a plaque of honor, which is visible on a boulder in the park.


Large pond in the arboretum, former source of the Heidekampgraben

The arboretum is located in the former marshland and heathland of the Königsheide , which is a relic of the formerly extensive forest areas of the former Cöllnische Heide south of the Spree . The large pond in the arboretum is home to many species of plants. It bears witness to the beginning of the old watercourse to the Heidekampgraben and is artificially irrigated as a result of the excavation to the Britz connecting canal in 1906 (and the subsequent drying up of the spring) and war-related repairs in 1976.

To the west of the manor house between Heidekampgraben and Späthstraße is the arboretum, which is divided into a total of 32 sections. In the eastern part is the pond, to the southeast of it the rock garden. Immediately behind the manor house is a greenhouse for growing new plants. To the west of the house, separated by an access road to the commercial space behind, is the System department and the medicinal and spice plant garden.

The woodland park comprises around 1200 game species as well as horticultural varieties of trees and shrubs. Contrary to the sorting according to geographic or family relationships that is otherwise common for botanical gardens, the plants are largely set up freely and correspond to Meyer's intention to make the park appear more spacious than it actually is. In addition, Späth attached importance to the fact that trees and bushes should develop their effects in such a way that “their suitability for commercial use should become evident”. A central element of the park is the pond, which is fed from a deep well and rainwater . At the edges of the thriving reeds , sedges and the cattails . The rock garden is home to typical mountain plants, ferns and other plants of the temperate zone . From here there is a flowing transition to the moorland, which includes a nutrient-poor and acidic raised bog . In the second section of the site there is the systematic section, which shows the diversity of the flora on around 0.5 hectares and enables visitors to directly compare the plants within their genus , family and order . The department is joined by medicinal and spice beds. In 2014, for example, the lily of the valley was seen as the poisonous plant of the year . A showcase with an article from Wikipedia describes the properties of the plant. There are also several sculptures on the site, for example Young Girl by Robert Metzkes , but also two reliefs made of red sandstone with the portraits of Carl Friedrich Späth and Johann Carl Ludwig Späth.


  • Paul Brückner: 120 years of the Späth-Arboretum: from the Späth'schen Hauspark to the arboretum of the Humboldt University in Berlin in Baumschulenweg; 1879-1999 . Institute for Biology (Berlin, Humboldt University) Arboretum, working group “Traditionsfest in Baumschulenweg”, 1999, p. 47 .
  • Institute for Biology (Ed.): The Arboretum of the Humboldt University of Berlin (Flyer) . S. 4 .
  • Bernd Horlemann, Hans-Jürgen Mende (Ed.): Berlin 1994. Pocket calendar . Edition Luisenstadt Berlin, No. 01280; Pages after February 27th: The Arboretum .

Web links

Commons : Späth-Arboretum  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Institute for Biology (Ed.): The Arboretum of the Humboldt University in Berlin (Flyer)
  2. ^ Späth-Arboretum of the Humboldt University in Berlin. berlin.de; accessed on December 22, 2014.
  3. a b Kulturbund Treptow (ed.): Families can make coffee here: Treptow in the course of history . 1st edition. be.bra, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-930863-14-6 , pp. 184 .
  4. Opening times ( Memento of the original from December 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. at hu-berlin.de @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www2.hu-berlin.de
  5. ^ Franz Späth in the German biography
  6. Honorary plaque for the Späth-Arboretum of the Humboldt University , idw website, accessed on December 22, 2014.

Coordinates: 52 ° 27 ′ 17.6 "  N , 13 ° 28 ′ 29.3"  E