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In the spring of 2006 we became “tree spirits” at the petition and rescue campaign for the chestnut tree. It seemed that the spirit of the tree had become a part of us. The chestnut tree lives in the Düsseldorf suburb of Himmelgeist. “Himmelgeist” and “Baumgeist” (tree spirit), that was a good fit. With so many “spirits” we found the name “Himmelgeister Baumgeister” original and called ourselves this.

Each tree is “occupied” in old mythology by a tree spirit. Old trees fascinate old and young in the whole world. The name “Jüchtwind” was developed during a competition to find a name for the tree spirit in the spring of 2007. Wolfgang Janetzki from Düsseldorf-Holthausen gave this wonderful name to our dear spirit. The chestnut tree lives according to local jargon in the Himmelgeister Jücht, where the wind always blows.

After the chestnut tree was “occupied” by Jüchtwind, we work as volunteers as the friends of the “Himmelgeist tree spirits”. We regard the “Himmelgeist chestnut tree as a symbol, representing all old trees in need of protection. We came to an agreement in April 2009 with the people from Eutin on a symbolic tree wedding with their “bridegroom oak”, which also has a postal address”, so that there would be no thought of competition.

We take care of the chestnut tree, together with Jüchtwind, we remove the fallen leaves in autumn, and we dispose of rubbish and such things.

Our evenly spread campaigns at the chestnut tree are fun, help other people and nature. Once a year there is a day of the tree on 25 April , a fairly large benefit event or event for children takes place at the chestnut tree. Each November we remove more than 500 kg of fallen leaves during the campaign “Save the chestnut trees – Fight the leaf-miner”. So the tree has sufficient peace. We campaign on a voluntary basis for the Mobile Children’s hospice Düsseldorf and the Verein Sterntaler e. V.

The tree spirits are not a club, but a little circle of friends. We do not make any profits. Any revenues are donated to good causes. We don’t belong to any political party and are independent. By answering hundreds of letters from the whole world we encourage people, we take time, and we motivate them to take up environmental/climate/tree protection causes.

We are looking forward to forging new friendships and to many creative campaigns.

We are interested in social events like the “Himmelgeist Jücht-run”, the summer festival of the city bakery, the local carnival procession through the suburb of Itter or sponsor prizes for sports events or for the church festival in Himmelgeist.

Andreas Vogt

The spirit of the tree has become part of us. May be it could be part of you, too?