November 16, 2017

The Urban Tree Award 2017

Once a year the Danish Tree-care Union awards the Urban Tree Award at the University of Copenhagen: "An accolade for an extraordinary effort provided to secure- protect- or provide information about urban trees." Usually it is awarded hard-hitting pioneers and last year a city district, but this year they have bestowed the great honor upon Save the Urban Trees (Red Byens Træer, as we are called in Danish).

For: "Persistantly fighting to preserve valuable tree plantings in Greater Copenhagen and by this contributing to alert citizens to the value of urban trees in the local environment."

One of the city's gardeners approached me in the intermission with these words: "I don't think you quite grasp how big this is? This is the highest honor!" Slowly it sinks in. A heartfelt thank you to the Danish Tree-care Union for making such a brave and controversial choice, an invaluable support in the fight to save the urban trees. I promise that our movement will not rest on its laurels!


November 3, 2017

A piece of good news

Here is a piece of good news to start the weekend. The Winter Service stated that it is not possible to just mirror the cost of using caliumformiat on one side, to the other, so we asked them two questions: what then is the added cost of switching from salt to the safe alternative, and is it possible to include the loop by Fredensbro to the protective route, where seven old trees are currently skipped with catastrophical consequences?

The answer arrived today: The added cost for caliumformiat, for an average winter on the road side, is 85.500 kr. These funds must be added, otherwise it would entail taking the gentle solution from nature reserves (which no one wants). And then it is noted that switching to caliumformiat won't magically change that the trees are troubled by pavement and various diseases (which naturally no one believes).

And now for the good news: The Winter Service estimates that the loop makes such a small addition that it will be included in the protective route.

This could mean the difference between life and death for the seven old trees, so big that you can't even reach around them in a hug (yep, it's been tested). Granted there are still salt accumulated in the soil, but in time it will wash out. We can only hope that we made it in time. Now we just need the old tree closest to the heavy traffic on Fredensgade protected from street salting (if all else fails, we will do it ourselves).

Oh, this is just so good!

Nok det punkt i byen, hvor forskellen på salt og kaliumformiat, er allertydeligst. 

 Seneste foto.


Correspondance with the Winter Service about salt

Mail to Vibeke Vedel from the Winter Service and Service Chief in the City Maintenance Jon Pape, from Save the Urban Trees Oct. 20 2017.

Dear Vibeke and Jon,

Greetings form Save the Urban Trees, as we have in horror observed the development of the trees along the lakes that are still salted. This goes for the road side and the spot on the lucky side, by Fredensbro, where the caliumformiat route skips and the salt sets in. I have attached pictures and illustrations. I don't think this is done in evil, but because there is a lack of understanding of exactly how much damage is done by salting these exact stretches. The salt is not just flushed out into the sewer system, but rather accumulated in the soil, causing the trees immense damage. Several arborists have inspected the trees that are still salted and they all agree that is causing severe damage.

This is why we will attempt to make the politicians grant the funds needed for including the remaining lake trees to the caliumformiat route. In the hopes that we can keep our old trees a little longer.

Two questions:
What is the added cost of sparing the road side trees from salt?
Is it possible to add the loop* by Fredensbro to the caliumformiat route?

Kind regards
Sandra Høj
Save the Urban Trees

*The loop = See attached pictures of the stretch by Fredensbro.








Reply from the Winter Service, November 3rd 2017.

Dear Sandra Høj

Thank you for the inquiry of Oct. 20 2017 regarding the cost of using caliumformiat on Søgade-side along the lakes and the loop by Fredensbro.

The bike lane stretch along Søgade-side, where we are today using salt is approx. 8.550 m2. In the event that we need to use caliumformiat over salt it means an added cost of approx. 85.500 kr per season for an average winter (50 calls). Should we face a hard winter the m2 cost for the use of both salt and caliumformiat be doubled.

We have assessed the possibility of adding the loop to our caliumformiat route. As we are talking about a very smalle stretch, we find that this can be done. Which is why in the future we will spread caliumformiat by the Fredensbro loop.

As Jon Pape wrote you in a reply dated January 19 2017, we have been added funds so we can use caliumformiat on selected stretches. Here we have prioritized the use of caliumformiat where there is a special need for nature protection. We have not used caliumformiat on the stretches you are referring to here. Should we use caliumformiat on stretches like for example the Søgade-side, where we are today using salt, it would entail that we either reprioritise the stretches where we are today using caliumformiat, or it will mean an added cost to switch. As such, the distribution depends on further funding to finance the reorganization. It is worth noting that even if we were to switch to caliumformiat on the Søgade-side, the trees along the lakes are still facing hard living circumstances, due to disease and road work over time, affecting the roots, which switching to caliumformiat won't fix.

Again thank you for getting in touch.

Kind regards

Vibeke Vedel
Center for Bydækkende Drift
Byens Drift
Teknik- og Miljøforvaltningen

October 29, 2017

Battle plan for the lake chestnuts

We have now entered the winter season, and the tormented chestnut trees on the road side of the lakes have not been pardoned. The Winter Service even denies that the trees are affected by the salt at all. That it is simply flushed out into the sewer system, without causing any harm. It makes no sense. The city knows perfectly well that salt is poison and that caliumformiat makes a huge difference.

The reason for not protecting the lake chestnut trees: they are already having a hard time (!?!).

It is very hard to get employees in the city to contradict the management on this, as their livelihoods depends on obeying orders. This is why the pressure must come from the citizens, with nothing to lose (except the urban trees). If we as citizens don't protest, we will lose our lake chestnut trees much faster than need be. This will happen because the trees are denied life prolonging care and further the decay by salting.

This is what we can do right now:

1. Argue for the political board on their last meeting before the election, decide whether the funds for caliumformiat can be granted for the road side of the lakes. The Winter Service informs us that it will only be done by direct political order.*

2. Sign the petition for the funds, allowing tree care specialists to prolong the lives of the old trees, over the next three years, and for the salt to be replaced with caliumformiat on the above mentioned stretch.

*Made difficult by the fact that politicians consulting the Winter Service on the damages from salt on this stretch, are misinformed.

The other steps will be implemented if the first two don't work. To be continued...

Funny how the the trees are  suddenly useful come election spam time.
Sign the petition: Hjælp Søkastanjerne!

October 18, 2017

Good news for Assistensen

The Preservation Commission have spoken: The city is not allowed to use Assistensen cemetery for garbage, scrap and waste deposit. No more trucks on the old cemetery, already marked by the heavy traffic.

A heartfelt thank you to our friends from Miljøpunkt Nørrebro and the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, for the fight.

Picture: The line in the cobblestones marks the old gate, from before it was widened for trucks.

Today's good news in Nørrebro/Nordvest Bladet: here (Danish).

October 12, 2017

The lake chestnut trees in Lorry

Thank you so much Lorry, for talking about the lake chestnut trees. The winter season starts on November 1st, so if the salt is to be replaced, it is last call. The people who care for the trees should get the funds they applied for, for the three-year plan to extend the lives of the old trees. Sign here if you want to help.

(Reads) The crown jewels of the lakes under pressure: they are salting them to death.

Citizens movement fights city to make them stop salting along the chestnut trees lining the lakes. 

Link to article in Lorry (Danish)

October 7, 2017

Petition: Help the Lake Chestnuts

The old lake chestnut trees are fighting to stay alive, and need our help urgently. The city of Copenhagen not only denied the department funds for a plan to prolong their lives, but also continue to use the toxic salt on the roadside of the lakes, to save money. This can't go on.

The trees on the roadside are now so weak that they are continuously being felled for safety reasons. The many holes in the row and the burnt canopies, says it all. The citizens are the last hope. For this reason, we have started a petition to make the city fund the departments plan to care for the trees, and to stop the salting of the road side trees, effective immediately.

 (this is translated in another post, here)

Caliumformiat is used on one side, salt on the other.

The winter service informs us that an average winter season with caliumformiat costs 140.000 dkr, on this stretch. Caliumformiat is exactly twice the cost of salt, meaning the added cost of switching is 70.000 dkr. If the City of Copenhagen refuses to switch, we must insist that the old trees are in some way shielded from the salt. We request political action now!

Sign here (Danish): Hjælp Søkastanjerne!