Tree nursery

Our Syntropic tree nursery is a hybrid between an agroforestry system and a sustainable tree nursery: an ecosystem on its own and at the same time the basis of our future agroforestry systems
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The beginning of all systems

What happens when you plant bare-root, young trees in the Brandenburg Desert? Unfortunately, not very much.

While working on our first Syntropic Agroforestry Systems, we realized that we were reaching our limits with the existing options for planting trees. It was clear that we would benefit from using species with genetics that are climate adapted to our soil, to increase adaptability and diversity. This you cannot buy in this quantity and quality. For this reason, the next logical step was to start our own tree nursery, with Johannes at the helm, in the spring of 2021.

Our tree nursery is not a typical one, it is a Syntropic Hybrid Nursery. Here we incorporate the concept of Syntropic Agroforestry into an established fixed system. In practical terms, this means alternating permanent rows of trees with temporary rows where we grow the young trees. The permanent rows establish a microclimate in which the grafted trees can grow for a short time. In this way, the young trees plants receive all the important information from the intact ecosystem. Another reason for our own nursery is that it allows for the maximum adaptation to our location. Here the young plants learn to live with the drought and low nutrients and can grow to adapt to it.

"I try to prepare our trees as well as possible for their use in our fields. They are neither pampered nor fertilized - otherwise they would not survive in Brandenburg's sandy desert. "

Johannes Harms

Nursery Manager
It doesn’t take more than three sentences to understand Johanne’s passion is plants. Rare berry varieties and agriculture (biodiversity to the max!). Johannes studied conventional agriculture in Berlin, but quickly realized his heart didn’t burn for it and couldn’t see his future there. From Brazil, via Portugal and various other agroforestry projects and inspiring people, he finally came to Madlitz. Here, he started building our syntropic, hybrid tree nursery – the basis of all our agroforestry systems – in early 2021.

"The goal: A Garden of Eden. With diverse and resilient trees."

From pouches and plums

We plant all our trees in root pouches before they are planted in the temporary tree rows in the nursery. The cylindrical pouches are permeable and allow the exchange of information and nutrients so the young trees can communicate with the soil. Root Pouches allow optimal root growth and provide the chance to remove the small trees after a few months out of the system. We then plant them into a new agroforestry system.

We want to grow high quality trees that are as well prepared as possible for our fields. These trees are the basis for our agroforestry systems, which we want to be as diverse as possible so that they survive the next centuries. And bring diversity and life back to our soils!

In the future, we hope to graft 25,000 trees per year, in order to propagate herbaceous plants and soft fruits for our systems, and advance root stocks.


We conduct on-farm research with our Finck Foundation. We use Gut&Bösel's land to test and develop regenerative, multifunctional forms of land use. With the goal of finding solutions for food systems that are now threatened as never before by climate change, degraded soils, loss of biodiversity and species diversity, and the loss of the relationship between humans and nature and between urban and rural areas.

Landscape park

The park in Madlitz, with its large oak trees and mighty chestnuts, is the oldest English landscape park in Brandenburg.


We manage 2000 hectares of forest, much of which are 40–60-year-old pine monocultures, on very poor sandy soils which are far from groundwater. Our goal: to create a multifunctional mixed forest that is climate resilient and diverse.

Crop production

Alt Madlitz has a very long tradition of arable farming. Today we grow a wide variety of cereals in a six- to eight-part crop rotation, with undersown crops, catch crops and biodiversity strips. Always with soil as the focus!


Trees are the future! According to the principles of Syntropic agriculture, we have created six agroforestry systems on our farm. They increase soil fertility, help protect our fields against wind and water erosion, ensure cleaner groundwater, store carbon, moderate the microclimate and promote biodiversity.


Compost is life! And soil is the basis of all our work. That's why we have our own compost department, which takes care of all our microorganisms and nutrient cycles.

Holistic grazing

Cows for the climate! Cows for the climate! Our Salers and Angus herd grazes on our farmland, helping us to sustainably regenerate our soil and promote biodiversity.