Lorberg supplies trees for the "Avenue of Champion Trees" - An interview with Lorberg project manager Imke Kleinschmidt


Lorberg supplies trees for the "Avenue of Champion Trees" - An interview with Lorberg project manager Imke Kleinschmidt

25Mar 2018

The "Olympic Way" or "Avenue of Champion Trees" leads directly from the underground station to the world-famous Wembley Stadium in London's Brent district. A magnificent avenue whose planting was also a task for champions: planning was undertaken by the landscape architects of the Edinburgh-based company GROSS.MAX. The trees were supplied by three selected tree nurseries, including Europe's largest, Lorberg, which has its headquarters west of Berlin in Havelland.


High expectations for a prestigious London project


All along the avenue stand pairs of trees across from each other - with care taken to make sure that each is as much an identical pair as possible.

The idea for the avenue is that trees matching the various longitudes of the world are planted in the same order as the globe. The Lorberg tree nursery is supplying four different species, to be planted by the end of 2018: The lime tree (Tilia cordata), plane tree (Platanus acerifolia), field maple (Acer campestre) and swamp oak (Quercus palustris).

All trees have a trunk circumference of 50-60 cm, are six to nine meters high and between three and four meters wide! 

Planting in spring ring containers


In order to meet the lofty requirements expected of the large trees as closely as possible, all trees were cultivated over at least a year in spring ring containers. The black bubble wrap is evenly covered with small holes so that the roots receive more oxygen. As a result, the tree forms an abundance of fine roots, which leads to a dense fine root network and allows the plant to grow optimally at its new location.

We talked to Lorberg expert Imke Kleinschmidt about the advantages of the spring-ring method, the cultivation of trees for the Allee der Champions and the very personal joy of a true tree lover.


Interview with Dipl. Ing. Imke Kleinschmidt

Ms. Kleinschmidt, you’ve already delivered trees for the Allee der Champions in London. How many have there been, and how many will be, by the end of 2018? And is it true that there are even plans to expand the project?

Imke Kleinschmidt: So far we have delivered two plane trees, in spring 2019 the next six large trees will be delivered. These trees should really have been planted this spring, but the construction site has been delayed by about a year.

How did you manage to choose the almost identical pairs of trees so well? Was this a great challenge? How much lead time does Lorberg need for such a large project?

Imke Kleinschmidt: The landscape architect, our client Wembley Park, and a tree specialist sent by the client, came to the nursery to select the trees and train the twins. This wasn’t so easy and was achieved with the help of photos, as the selected trees were sometimes relatively far apart. This nursery event took place in spring 2017.

They used spring ring containers for breeding. How exactly does this method work?

Imke Kleinschmidt: This bubblewrap  with holes, similar to a drainage mat, was placed around the wire bales at a small distance and filled with substrate. The roots grow towards the air holes. This creates a dense, fine root system which facilitates the growth of the plants at the new location. This means that the so-called "planting shock" has already occured in the nursery while being planted in the spring ring, and not at the new location of the trees.

In England the spring ring has been used for a long time, while in Germany this type of planting has also been becoming more and more popular. Are there challenges and advantages over other methods?

Imke Kleinschmidt: Production in the spring ring has a very positive effect on the quality of the trees, where they grow particularly well. Another great advantage is that trees cultivated in the spring ring can also be planted in summer, irrespective of the natural planting seasons in spring and autumn.

And finally, a personal question. From the project idea, through the concrete planning and implementation to the completion of the project: Which feelings do you experience as a lover of nature, tree expert  and as one responsible for the project? 

Imke Kleinschmidt: I’m delighted that we, as a large East German nursery, have been awarded this contract. I see it as the result of many years of good cooperation with the landscape architects from Gross Max, with whom we have already completed many projects in London and Oxford. Then, of course, I hope with every delivery that everything works well and that the trees are planted and cared for professionally, so that they can grow and thrive as best as possible at their new location.


Thank you very much for the interview!