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?