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Watering to beat the heat: Residents and city gardeners water trees and shrubs in Bonn

Watering to beat the heat : Residents and city gardeners water trees and shrubs in Bonn

Employees with the city parks department are watering several hundred trees a day in Bonn. And residents are watering the public green spaces in front of their homes. On Thursday, with a 37.8 reading, a new high was reached.

In this stretch of hot weather, Klaus Sabrowski and Hans-Josef Greuel are watering more than 100 trees every day. Add to that the many flowers and shrubs in the city. The two gardeners from the city parks department are responsible for the district from the North Bridge to the “Langen Eugen” and out to Duisdorf. With two tanks, holding 2,000 and 3,000 liters of water, they are already at Poppelsdorfer Allee early Thursday morning on the way to water the trees.

On their schedule for the day are the Stadtgarten (City garden), Altstadt (Old town), and the new flower beds at the Rhine boardwalk, just below Beethovenallee. Each tree gets around 300 liters of water. Especially young trees need moisture in the hot days, because their roots do not reach so deep into the ground to be able to absorb water stored there.

City asks residents for help with watering

"It's so extreme for the first time in years," says Greuel. So extreme that the gardeners have to go out with two water trucks every day. As well, the city has a small electric vehicle that can handle 600 liters of water, and can also maneuver in narrow streets. The water tanks are filled at water hydrants. Divided into twelve districts, greens teams are working to protect the plants from the dry conditions. But just pouring water is not enough. Depending on the soil conditions, different irrigation techniques are used - depending on how much water the soil can absorb due to the dryness. In the Rheinaue, sprinkler systems provide irrigation.

But with the extended heat, that is not enough. The parks department has called on Bonn residents to water the trees in public spaces. Cornelia Winter is out every evening with a garden hose at the large flowerbed on the public square at the corner of Johann-Link-Straße and Agnesstraße in Beuel. "In the summer, it takes around an hour," she says. She and her husband “adopted” the tree and flowerbed six years ago and have been planting and cultivating the green area ever since.

Currently, lavender and rose bushes are blooming under the large maple tree. In three other pots, privet grows. Normally, it’s enough to water the plants every two to three days during the summer months but with the heat spell, she has to get out every night to water.

Many residents like Winter are pitching in and watering the public green areas, observes Greuel. For example, the pub owners in the Altstadt take care of the trees in front of their establishments. "Each bucket of water helps the trees to survive the dry period," explains head of the parks department Dieter Fuchs. If you want to water trees, you should first moisten the soil and then add water so that the water does not drain immediately.

Bonn's youngest trees are currently in the Baumschulwäldchen (a tree nursery) and on Wittelsbacherring. They were planted only a few weeks ago because the park was completely redesigned. The young trees have to be watered every day and watering rings were placed around the bottoms so that the water would stay at the roots during pouring and not run off into the surface. The freshly sown lawn also has to be watered there.

(Orig. text: Sabrina Bauer, Nicolas Ottersbach, Translation: Carol Kloeppel)