February 9, 2018

Another dispensation for Carlsberg

Copenhagen got a new board of Technical and Environmental Affairs. Venstre, consistently voting against the trees, are no longer in, but we got two new parties: DF and Alternativet. In the latest meeting they voted about trees. And as promised we are keeping an eye on how they vote, like on Monday where Carlsberg applied for another dispensation to fell trees in the category "worth preserving". This time asking for seven of them.

In favor:
Socialdemokratiet, Konservative, Liberal Alliance, SF og Alternativet.

Radikale, Dansk Folkeparti og Enhedslisten.

This means the request was granted. Costing Copenhagen another 7 trees in the special category "worth preserving", one of which can be saved if, and only if, the neighbors fight for it during the neighbor orientation. We will keep an eager eye on that

Asked why, the party Alternativet justified its approval by the assessment that it would be no major loss of biodiversity. To which we can only say that urban trees, and especially street trees as these, contribute with so much more than biodiversity. We will have to talk a lot more about this.

The Technical- and Environmental Board of Copenhagen, as of January 1st 2018:

Latest satellite view of Carlsberg. And this was before they felled the Climbing Forest.

January 26, 2018

Status of Carlsberg Byen destruction

The City of Copenhagen just publicized a status of the felled trees in Carlsberg Byen. If it feels like there has been a lot of talk about the Carlsberg trees, it is because the damages are beyond comprehension.

Felled trees on Carlsberg: 313
Felled trees in the special category "worth preserving" on Carlsberg as of May 2016: 130
Felled trees in the special category "worth preserving" on Carlsberg *without* permission: 25
The department have in addition changed 3 to not-worth-preserving. (???)

Link to the status: here. (Danish) 

January 17, 2018

Copenhagen vs. Frederiksberg

In the printed newsletter by the city of Copenhagen, distributed to all households, citizens are this time reminded to salt (!) the sidewalks in the winter season. They go as far as to suggest the alternative of gravel, but that's it.

Whereas on Frederiksberg they made a small animated movie, telling the citizen: never ever use salt on the sidewalks. And they proceed to tell you why, suggesting alternatives and where to find them. For the sake of trees, groundwater, pavement, cars, bikes, dog paws and the future.

"Although it can seem harmless, it is so much more harmful that one would think". This is how Frederiksberg describes salt. The same can be said about lacking information. This is just not green enough, Copenhagen! We absolutely must do better next winter. Ugh!

Copenhagen vs. Frederiksberg:

From the most recent printed newsletter of Copenhagen: Repeated reminders to use salt.

Watch the full animated movie from Frederiksberg to the citizens here (link).

And remember you can still sign to help the tormented lake chestnuts, to grant them the life prolonging care plan and spare them salting. Sign here (link).

December 20, 2017


The City of Copenhagen just announced that it will replace salt with the tree friendly alternative caliumformiat, on three green bike routes. The attached map with the added routes show a significant widening of area, affecting a large amount of trees. As it will spare the groundwater, dogs paws, pavement, footwear and bikes. Next year another three years of data will be added to the rapport, and as such enforcing the push to prioritize caliumformiat.

What a fine parting gift from our outgoing mayor of trees, thank you.

Picture from City Hall where I just made it in time to say goodbye and thank you for the trees. And on my way out found a fantastic urban forest with a roof of seagulls.

The map (pdf)
A busted myth (city finally admitting that salt is harmful to trees)
Salt vs. caliumformiat, Save the Urban Trees 2017

November 24, 2017

A busted myth

A harmful myth has finally been busted, in the case of the salted lake chestnut trees. We have been fighting a senseless claim that road salt are simply being washed out into the sewer system, without playing a part in the serious health issues of the street trees. Now a journalist have finally done what we hoped for, and investigated the issue, separating claims from facts. Reading up on the 109 page report, of a three-year study in urban de-icing, talking to the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management as well as the city administration and now we have it in print: Yes, salt is weakening our street trees, and the reason that salt is still used and admittedly weakening the lake chestnuts are solely a question of a lack of funding, to do what is best.

Front-page of Nørrebro Nordvest Bladet this week (Reads: Road salt stressing the lake trees). The article is also printed in Cityavisen.

This is huge! The politicians wanting to help the trees now have evidence to raise a suggestion to fund proper care for the trees. In the meantime we have had a local election and a turn on the green knob, towards a greener representation. The rest of them we will just have to fight so much harder to win over.

The mayor of trees and urban nature will continue on green hands, from next year with Ninna Hedeager Olsen (Ø), who already before the election invited us to a meeting about the tormented chestnut trees, when the unused funds from the budget are divided. The old chestnut trees must be spared salt, either by guarding them or replacing salt with caliumformiat, and the tree care team must be granted the funds for the three-year life prolonging plan in order for our old trees to stay as well as possible for as long as possible.

Here we ask our coming tree mayor (as it later turned out) on Twitter, if the missing funds can be found outside the budget of 2018. Answer: "Yes there is the budget transfer where the budget participants distribute unused funds. Lets meet and discuss the options." Second reply: "Thank you I am happy to meet up with you and learn more. I am new in the Technical and Environmental area - so I have a lot to learn."

The petiton will not be shut down until the trees are safe.

Links to more about the lake chestnuts and caliumformiat:

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!

Probably the one spot in the city where the difference between salt and caliumformiat is most obvious.

 Latest picture.