What happens in autumn and winter?
We give you a reason to enjoy autumn in Berlin with all its colors and perhaps to pay special attention to one or the other plant. It doesn't matter if you're a native Berliner or just want to visit Berlin: we'll take you on an autumn walk through nature.
Why do the leaves change color in autumn and then fall off the tree and why can some plants only grow in autumn? We give you a look behind the scenes of your autumn walk and explain quite simply what nature had in mind.
Why are the leaves changing color?
Chlorophyll is responsible for the strong green color in the leaves. When it gets colder and darker, the tree stores the chlorophyll from the leaves in the roots, branches and trunk. The original pigments of the leaves are now revealed. The red, orange or yellow is the actual color of the leaves and is masked by the chlorophyll in summer.
Why are the leaves falling from the tree?
Once the chlorophyll has been stored in the rest of the tree, it begins cutting the "water pipe". The tree evaporates most of its water through the leaves. During the cold season, the roots get less and less water. So the tree forms a separating tissue between the branch and the leaf stalk, which corks and the leaf finally falls off the tree.
How does the tree know that autumn is coming?
Green leaves produce vital nutrients for the tree in summer with the help of sunlight. If the sunlight decreases in autumn, fewer nutrients are provided and the tree knows immediately: autumn is approaching. This creates the colorful leaves.
You should pay special attention to these plants:
Neither animal nor plant: the fungus
When you go for a nice autumn walk, you can't go without looking for mushrooms. There are many beautiful recipes, whether a creamy soup or simply fried, they are especially delicious freshly picked.
Where's the best place to find mushrooms?
Fungi like humidity and warmth. After a few days of rain and mild temperatures, the chances of a well-filled basket are better than during a long drought. In damp, moss-covered hollows and slopes or on tree stumps, the chance of success is greater than on a dry forest floor.
Tip: Sometimes it's worth coming back to the same place after a few days and weeks. Usually new fungi have already formed there.
Benefits for forest and people
Mushrooms are very important for the forest. They decompose dead roots, leaves, needles and wood into nutrient-rich soil. They ensure that nutrients and minerals return to nature's material cycle. Over time, fungi also decompose paper, textiles and any organic waste with the help of their special enzymes.
But fungi are also an important food source for many animals such as mice, deer, badgers, squirrels, snails and insects.
For us humans, the mushrooms are also of great importance. Not only can we eat them, they also serve us as a remedy and even as a natural pesticide.
Mycorrhizal fungi play an important role in agriculture. They enter into a symbiosis with the plants. The plant gets more nutrients and water from the fungi. The mushrooms only ask for carbohydrates in the form of sugar in return.
Surprises that are easy to overlook
If you walk through the heather or through the forest, you may miss several incredibly beautiful plants. We have listed 3 plants here that you can easily recognize.
The common heather
You can not only buy the common heather, also known as heather, in flower shops. It also grows naturally in sunny to light locations. You can spot them on dry meadows where the soil is mostly lime-free and sandy.
It grows in large colonies on gravel and paths and turns the world yellow when the midsummer flowers have long since faded. The special thing about the plant: You can brew a healing tea from its flowers. The goldenrod helps against flatulence, rheumatism and insect bites.
The Autumn Crocus
The native bulbous plant grows on damp, nutrient-rich meadows and in sparse forests. The leaves reach a length of about 25 centimeters and resemble tulip leaves. From August to October, the pink-purple flowers emerge from the tubers.
Caution: The plants are highly toxic to horses, cattle and humans.
3 tips for an autumn walk in Berlin
In Berlin you have many opportunities to take a wonderful autumn walk to get close to the green plants or flowering plants delight. It's best when the leaves are slowly turning brightly colored and the sun feels warm on your skin despite the cold.
At 22 km², the Grunewald is the largest forest area in western Berlin. Here you have the opportunity to take many hiking trails for your autumn walk, e.g. along the banks of the Havel and you can also take your furry friend with you.
A highlight of the Grunewald is the Teufelsberg. From here you have a wonderful view over Berlin and give the stressful everyday life the cold shoulder.
Peacock Island also belongs to Grunewald. Peacocks live here all year round, hence the name. The island is quite far cut off from Berlin and you can really let your soul dangle here.
There is nothing standing in the way of a beautiful autumn walk in the Grunewald. From the Grunewald train station you can reach the Grunewald in a few minutes.
Charlottenburg Palace Park
The park has existed since 1699. It was a gift from Elector Friedrich III to his wife Sophie Charlotte von Hannover, after whom the district is named. You can watch ducks and swans at the park's own lake. The footpaths in the castle park lead, partly along the water, into the neighboring districts of Spandau and Wedding.
Tip: It's best to come by for an autumn walk during the week, then there will be fewer people and you can relax better. Gastronomic offers such as coffee and cake can also be found here.
A popular destination for an autumn walk is the 72 hectare Plänterwald with its old trees. It was created in 1876 and used to be an amusement park. Here you can see fallen plastic dinosaurs, the rusted Ferris wheel and swan boats. Here you can see how nature takes back what once belonged to her.
The best way to get to Plänterwald is via the Treptower Park S-Bahn station. You can take a leisurely stroll along the water and pass the shipping pier. In the Plänterwald you can go jogging, romp around with your dog or just go for a nice autumn walk.
Are you still looking for other decorations that will turn your home into an oasis? Then have a look at our website and let yourself be inspired.
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