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Deciduous trees are not only known from the forest, but they also adorn parks and magnificent avenues. Of course, fruit trees are also welcome guests in the garden. There are countless native deciduous tree species in Germany. They are important suppliers of wood, a source of food for humans and animals, not to mention valuable suppliers of oxygen. In autumn they enchant with a magnificent color of the leaves. Below you will find a small overview of different types of deciduous trees.

Apple tree (Malus domestica)

The apple tree originally came from Asia. It has been cultivated there for thousands of years. There are countless varieties due to breeding and new ones are coming out every year.


  • Height 10m
  • dark green ovate leaves
  • serrated, upturned leaf margins
  • white-red flowers in April / May
  • red-brown branches
  • yellow autumn colour
  • Drupe varies in color and size
  • depending on the variety
  • shallow roots
  • sunny to partially shaded location
  • nutrient-rich, loose soil

Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

It is also known as the red beech and is one of the most important native deciduous tree species. The reddish wood is used in the furniture industry and also as firewood. The color of the wood also gave the deciduous tree its name.


  • height 30 m
  • slender, straight trunk
  • domed dense crown
  • smooth gray bark
  • Brown-grey branches with ovate leaves that are pointed at the front
  • wavy, entire leaf margin
  • initially light green and silky hairy
  • later dark green
  • prickly fruit with two beechnuts
  • Roots shallowly branched
  • sunny to shady location
  • nutrient-rich soils

Tree magnolia (Magnolia kobus)

It is also known as Kobushi Magnolia. These deciduous trees are popular spring bloomers in the garden. The flowering period lasts for three weeks. The deciduous species love moist soil.

KENPEI, Magnolia kobus3, crop from Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0


  • Height 10m
  • green elliptical leaves up to 15 cm long
  • smooth leaf edge
  • white flowers in March to May
  • Flowers appear before leaves emerge
  • red fruit up to 10 cm in size
  • erect, red-brown twigs
  • initially reddish bark
  • later grey-black
  • yellow foliage in autumn
  • shallow roots
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • cut compatible

German oak (Quercus robur)

The stalked fruits (acorns) gave the deciduous trees their name. They are also known as pedunculate oaks or summer oaks. The trees can be up to 1,000 years old. In Germany they are among the most important wood suppliers. The hard wood is popular in the furniture industry.


  • Height up to 50 m
  • gnarled trunk with a strongly branched crown
  • initially smooth, greenish-white bark
  • later black-grey-brown and deeply fissured
  • bare, reddish-brown twigs
  • spiral, obovate leaves
  • irregularly lobed, coarse leathery
  • Upper side of leaf shiny dark green
  • Underside blue-green
  • Ripens in September/October, color brown
  • ovate, 2 to 3 cm long acorns
  • long-stemmed
  • golden-brown foliage in autumn
  • deep rooter
  • Sun to semi-shade

Chestnut (Castanea sativa)

Even in ancient times, people appreciated the fruits of these deciduous trees, the chestnuts, as a treat. From ancient Rome, these deciduous tree species finally made their way to Central and Northern Europe. Today the chestnuts are found everywhere in Europe and Asia. This species can become very old.


  • height 30 m
  • leathery, oblong, dark yellow leaves
  • Length up to 20 cm
  • sawn leaf edge
  • yellow foliage in autumn
  • reddish, round buds
  • white flowers in May / June
  • this gives rise to greenish-white kittens
  • Chestnuts surrounded by a prickly skin
  • young, felty branches
  • grey-green, smooth to longitudinally fissured bark
  • deep rooter
  • sunny to semi-shady

silver birch (Betula pendula)

This species is usually found singly in deciduous and coniferous forests, more rarely in small, sparse groups. They are also known as white birch or silver birch. Initially the crown is narrowly conical, later round with overhanging branches. The bleeding sap of the birch is used as a hair tonic.


  • triangular-rhombic leaves, stalked 2 to 3 cm long
  • acuminate, broadly wedge-shaped at the base, sticky
  • sharply doubly serrated leaf margin
  • golden yellow foliage in autumn
  • yellow drooping fruit catkins in March/April
  • thin drooping branches
  • white mostly horizontally flaking bark
  • later turns into black, hard bark
  • shallow roots
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • sandy, loamy, moist soil

Cherry (Prunus avium)

This deciduous tree species is also known as sweet cherry or bird cherry. It is often used as a single tree or for planting high hedges.


  • Height 25 m
  • pointed, elliptical leaves
  • sawn leaf edges
  • two nectar glands on the petiole
  • yellow autumn colour
  • reddish buds at branch ends
  • white flowers in April / May
  • together in clusters
  • round fruits initially red, later black
  • edible but bitter
  • light green, shiny twigs
  • gray to red-brown bark
  • Sunny to slightly shady
  • sandy-loamy soil

Mirabelle Mirabelle (Prunus domestica subsp. Syriaca)

The deciduous trees are also known as "yellow plums". They have their origin in Asia. It is a subspecies of the plum. They are remotely similar to the sloe in growth and flower shape.


  • Height 10m
  • ovate leaves
  • smooth, dark green leaf surface
  • lighter, hairy underside
  • sawn leaf edge
  • alternate leaf position
  • yellow autumn colour
  • white umbelliferous flowers in April / May
  • sweet, yellow drupe
  • red speckle
  • Diameter 5cm
  • hairy young twigs
  • light red, slightly cracked bark
  • forms root suckers
  • sunny location
  • sandy-loamy soils

Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippccastanum)

This type of chestnut has always been popular as an ornamental tree in parks and avenues. There it mainly serves as a source of shade and can live up to 200 years. The deciduous trees have a densely arched crown with drooping branches. Your wood doesn't matter. It is only used as veneer wood.


  • Height 25 to 30 m
  • fingered leaves
  • mostly five to seven single leaves
  • double serrated leaf margin
  • yellow-orange foliage in fall
  • white-yellow-red flower spikes in May
  • Length 20 to 30 cm, erect
  • Capsules (chestnuts) in autumn
  • usually two chestnuts surrounded by prickly pericarp
  • light brown to reddish brown twigs
  • grey-brown, smooth bark
  • later thin-scaly bark, flaking
  • Deep-rooted, densely branched root system
  • sunny to slightly shady
  • sandy-loamy soils

Sal willow (Salix caprea)

This species can be found on rivers, ditches, moors and meadows. It is considered the most common "forest pasture" in clearings and on forest edges and is an important bee pasture. The reddish wood of the sal willow is ideal as firewood.


  • Height up to 8 m
  • broadly elliptic, 2 cm long-stalked leaves
  • entire or wavy toothed
  • Length of the leaves up to 10 cm
  • both sides white tomentose
  • dark green, matte top
  • Underside grey-green, densely fluffy with yellow veins
  • Leaves only shoot after flowering in March to May
  • yellow autumn colour
  • ovate, pointed, green-red buds
  • grey-white catkins in March to April
  • 3 to 6 cm tall
  • thin, greenish, flexible twigs
  • initially smooth, gray bark
  • later rips open like a net
  • shallow roots
  • sunny to slightly shady
  • sandy-loamy soils

Norway maple (Acer plantanoides)

The deciduous trees are quite adaptable and very modest in terms of their requirements. Because of its dense, egg-shaped to spherical crown, it is often planted as an avenue or park tree. The hard, glossy white wood is very popular with cabinet makers for turning.


  • Height 20 to 30 m
  • mostly five-lobed, opposite leaves
  • round bulged
  • 8 to 12 cm long, reddish petioles with leaves up to 18 cm long
  • Teeth drawn out into long points
  • orange to red autumn colour
  • red-brown buds
  • yellow, pendulous umbelliferous flowers in April
  • fragrant
  • Fruits: nutlets, winged in pairs
  • bare, shiny brown twigs
  • young shoots contain milky juice
  • dark, long-cracked bark
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • sandy to loamy soil

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

The undemanding deciduous tree species with a loose, rounded crown is also known as mountain ash. It mainly grows in sparse deciduous and coniferous forests. Its fruits are edible and are used to make jams, juices and liqueurs. It also offers a rich source of food for birds in winter. Its wood is particularly good for carving.


  • Height 5 to 15 m
  • imparipinnate leaves up to 20 cm long
  • 9 to 15, 2 to 6 cm oblong, elliptical leaflets
  • unequally prickly, serrate to toothed leaf margin
  • Autumn orange-red coloring
  • ovate, pointed, hairy buds
  • white cymes from May to June
  • pea-sized fruits in late summer
  • initially green, then orange-red
  • young twigs felty hairs
  • later bald and brown
  • shiny, light grey, smooth bark
  • Desquamation in leaflets as black bark
  • shallow roots
  • sunny to shady
  • sandy-loamy soils

Wild apple (Malus sylvestris)

This is the original form of today's apple trees. The fruits are very hard, hence the name crab apple. They are only edible when dried or cooked.


  • Height up to 10 m
  • ovate, glossy dark green leaves
  • asymmetric leaf base
  • upturned and sawn leaf edges
  • yellow foliage in autumn
  • white-pink flowers in April / May
  • hard stone fruit in autumn
  • red-brown branches
  • grey-brown peeling bark
  • luxuriantly branched root system
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • nutrient-rich soils

Quaking Aspen (Populus tremula)

This deciduous tree species is also known as aspen or aspen and can live up to 100 years. The leaves move at the slightest breeze and begin to tremble. Hence the saying "Tremble like an aspen leaf". They provide food for butterfly caterpillars. The wood is very soft.


  • Height 20 to 35 m
  • oval, green leaves
  • Underside bluish
  • coarsely and irregularly bluntly toothed
  • young leaves felty
  • yellow autumn leaves
  • brown, slender, ovoid buds
  • grey-brown to greenish flowers in March / April
  • olive-grey-green, brittle twigs
  • initially yellow-brown bark
  • later black-grey and barky
  • shallow roots
  • sunny to semi-shady
  • fresh, loose loamy and sandy soils

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