June 1, 2017

A syrup guard

At last year's Distortion (street party) Nørrebro lost two young trees. One was completely broken, the other halfway so. They were both replaced. This time we reminded the city about the risk for these exact trees in the very epicentre of the party. Hoping they would learn from the past and take steps to protect them in some way. But alas.

You sort of knew though, which is why the trees in an improvised measure, were covered in sticky syrup. In the hope that this would deter people from grabbing the trunk and breaking it. There is no knowing if it made a difference, but today both trees were still alive. And on the support strap on one of the trees were a lead to how the last one died: a heavy print of a shoe. Apparently, people climb the support pole, balance on the strap and use the tree for support. All it takes is poor balance, for a heavy person to take the tree with them in the fall, thereby breaking it. Mystery solved.

Why is it that the city refuse to learn from past behavior? When we all know which trees are most exposed? So frustrating!

Pictures of last year's damages and this year's syrup guard.

April 5, 2017

Sneak peek at Møllegade

The square on the corner of Møllegade and Guldbergsgade is almost ready. Thousands of citizens have fought for the trees we have left, at with that an addition of young trees, instead of the planned tile and gravel. We have lost an unbearable amount of old trees. A leaf mass and biodiversity that will not reappear at the same place in our lifetime. But with the many new trees one can only hope that the corner one day will become an oasis for the next generation of Copenhageners.

Møllegades beautiful harbinger of spring, the mirabelle tree, is abloom.

The swapping shed, where the three ash trees stood.

 The island in the center is for the new trees at the right of the picture.

The new, young ones. Fingers crossed they will feel at home here.

 A decent size. Welcome to Nørrebro. <3

The shed that just couldn't be moved back from the wall, to spare three ash trees.

Parts of the old wall have been preserved and made into benches. A good way to spare the trees. The less the soil around the trees are disturbed, the better.

It's spriiiiing!

Previous posts, two plus years of fighting for the Møllegade trees:

Read this and the posts above in Danish, on the mother blog here: Red Byens Træer.

March 25, 2017

A blowjob

This coming Monday, the city will decide if Carlsberg will be granted the right to fell nine trees worth preserving. Of the nine, three of them are to be felled for a trailer park, and another six are adjacent to an area for supply lines for a new building. Digging for this can cause fatal damage to trees, but there is an alternative that is used in other cities: vacuuming. Instead of digging, the soil is vacuumed away. A method that is gentle to existing pipes, wires and tree roots.

In the hope of saving the six trees that Carlsberg is expected to get permission to fell, we have collected photo documentation and links about the method, the machine and one of the companies working with vacuuming of soil in Denmark.

Veg Tech:
Veg Tech is a Danish company working with products and systems for a greener urban environment. Here is an excerpt of a mention of urban trees and the vacuuming technique. From Stads- og Haveingeniøren 2004 (!):

Lifesaving of urban trees:
Roots and tree crowns are frequently found in conflict with different wires and pavements. To protect the well established urban trees, the city of Malmö is leading the way by avoiding use of conventional excavators withing the drip zone of the trees and by replacing the soil in the top of the root net on unthriving existing trees and who after this improvement of the growth condition can be brought back to thriving again. The existing and often compacted soil is removed by a vacuuming technique and replaced with skeleton soil with a lasting but more open and root friendly structure.

And then this: the technique is well known in the city of Copenhagen!

The vacuum technique have been used to remove polluted soil from playgrounds in the boroughs of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg, and as such contributed to spare big trees and hedges from possible fatal lesions as it has been the case in other similar projects.

The machine was mentioned in Dagens Byggeri in 2009, "Blowjob til undergrunden" (an excerpt):

Why must work in soil be done with a shovel? At the Silkeborg firm Fli-Dan they operate with a different concept: vacuuming.

Since September last year the company have solved soil transportation jobs with their multi vacuumer BigBlow. The system is particularly useful on the so-called critical places where there are many pipes and wires underground, and where access is needed to a specific wire without disturbing the others.

"Much more gentle than a shovel on an excavator could ever be."

One must remember that we are up against a heavy force. Up until now we have only used excavators to dig in the soil, but it was the same when the mini excavator first surfaced. In the beginning no one saw a use for it, but today all entrepreneurs have one, says Steen Andersen.
If this method can spare the six trees on Carlsberg, it should be used. Preferably the city would condition it happened. If Carlsberg is allowed to fell the six trees, we will still contact them and introduce them to the tree sparing option.

Thank you to Britt Hjerl Abildtrup for the many inputs on this matter.

Links (all in Danish):

March 24, 2017

Alert on Carlsberg, again!

Carlsberg is up to felling again. This Monday the city (TMU) must decide if dispensation can be given to fell another nine trees deemed worth preserving. Six lining a road and tree in a garden, that they want to transform into a container city. One of the trees they are asking permission to fell, is the first one in the picture below:

A giant!

More information can be found (in Danish) in the TMU agenda, available online.

Satellite image of the last green spot. Now in danger of being demolished.

And an excerpt from the appendix of TMU's agenda.

The nine trees worth preserving that they want permission to fell (encircled). The all red dots are trees worth preserving where felling has already been granted. The all green dots are felled too, but are to be replanted. Translated: They have been allowed to fell almost everything, and now they want another nine.

The last six trees are to be felled due to digging work nearby. This can be done with care, without felling, as is best practice in eg. Stockholm. But then again it is much easier to just fell and replant another tree.

The request is worded as an ultimatum: if they are not allowed to fell another nine trees it will significantly delay the project and cost will go up. We can only hope that the city of Copenhagen is done throwing itself on Carlsberg's feet. Enough is enough!

Thank you to Miljøpunkt Nørrebro for the alert.

Link (in Danish):

March 10, 2017

Planting bed protection

Here are a few fresh examples from the city of Aarhus, showing how to protect trees from things like urine, salt and bike parking. So simple and so constructive.

Can we test this concept on the most stressed trees in Copenhagen?

February 17, 2017

A forest city

The Guardian investigates air pollution around the world. More than 5.5 million people worldwide are dying prematurely every year, as a result of air pollution. 540 of those are Copenhageners.

Trees not only creates oxygen, they also absorb the urban dust and the life threatening micro-particles attacking our lungs. Threes *must* be incorporated in the cities and China is currently preparing to build the world's first forest city.

So incredibly exciting!

February 16, 2017

A protected tree in Lisbon

This is how you protect a tree on a construction site in Lisbon. The ENTIRE space below the crown of the tree is fenced off, preventing damages to the root zone. And then the most amazing thing: a custom made welded iron fence covered in wire netting, to keep cranes away. Mind blowing!

January 13, 2017

Urine damages up close

The purpose of this movement has always been to identify the reason that we are losing our urban trees, and subsequently work to minimize the damages. No department and no one person is sacred, in our search to learn how to better protect our trees.

Now it turns out there is something we do ourselves that damage the most vulnerable trees: peeing on them. One wonders why no one have talked about this before. That it takes the death of two giant old trees, succumbing to the strain of years of relentless urination.

We are not talking about random drips but rather certain exposed trees, systematically being soaked year in and year out at the exact same spot. This was the case by the two 100 year old linden trees by the Round Tower, felled this week. Their bark porous and bleached by ammonia damages all the way into the cambium, in the peeing-zone. This has been weakening the trees to the degree where they were no longer able to sustain the branches with life, or keep rot, fungus and disease away.

Once you know that urine is bad for trees, you stop subjecting them to it. Simple as that. The discussions about lack of public toilets, belong elsewhere. Nor is this an attack on men, as none of us up until now even knew how damaging this was. The information was lacking.

By the Round Tower there is one younger tree left, already showing signs of urine damages, so we need to come together to find a solution to protect that and the rest of the urine-endangered trees. This is especially urgent once we enter the summer months. Do we need small fences? Controlled ivy? Signs? We need to solve this ugly problem. If we put our heads together, we can do it.

Here are pictures of the urine damages to the newly felled linden trees by the Round Tower. Plus a cropped piece of an article about (dog)urine damages on trees, explaining the process.

From an article about damages from dog urine, in CityLab 2012. Even they had a hard time finding documentation on the subject, despite the fact that it is a huge problem for urban trees. It is about time we talk about this. 

You may be reading this from another part of the world. Do you have similar problems where you live? And if so, how do you go about protecting the trees? If you have any ideas about how to prevent this kind of damages, please leave a comment, or drop us a line. The urban trees need all the help they can get.

January 12, 2017

A follow-up on the urine damages

A follow-up on the urine damaged trees on TV Lorry. In which the tree care specialist illustrate exactly how large amounts of urine affects our urban trees. The sample just arrived for documentation, we'll get to that tomorrow.

Link to Lorry story here.

PS! Lorry heard about this because of a citizens alert, so cool that we all keep an eye out for our trees!

January 10, 2017

Death by urine for two 100 year old linden trees

Two 100 year old linden trees were felled today, due to weakening by a massive amount of urine that made them unsafe in a storm. Urine damages are a big problem for the urban trees, and men even urinate on the newly planted trees with the slow release watering bags. Disgusting behavior! These bags are handled by tree care specialists, it is just unacceptable to urinate on them.

We need to talk about how we interact with trees. Tomorrow we will get a slice of one of the newly felled trees, for documentation, so we can get close and see exactly how bad the bark is damaged by urine.


Link to TV Lorry: here