June 21, 2017

200 year old tree in danger on Nørrebro

This morning a citizen's alert sounded on Nørrebro: In a backyard between Søllerødgade and Nørrebrogade, they began cutting down one of the last big yard trees in the area, the 200 year old plane tree. At first word was that it was by request of the city, due to rats in the sewer system. The neighbours contacted the city and was told in uncertain terms, that the city had neither recommended nor demanded the fellling of the old tree.

We arrived up at the scene, got in contact with the land owner and explained that there may have been a miscommunication, asking if we could have some time to try and save the tree. The only way that was going to happen was if we agreed to pay for the delay. A sum that could amount to 10.000 DKR. It was that, or the felling would continue. The undersigned agreed, under pressure (and he wanted that in writing, so here you are).

The city
The park manager were equally distraught to see the tree cut down, but as it is on private property, the city has not allowed itself any say in the matter. The tree team was hired to cut down the tree, remove it and grind down the roots. They stopped the felling and adjusted the cuts so the tree has a chance to survive.

The problem
The land owner showed up and reported that it was not the city but the sewer company that had recommended felling. We called him up. It turns out that the sewer is leaking, and the water deprived tree seeks towards the pipes and enter them. This has been established by TV equipment in the pipes. But is felling the only solution? No.

The solution
It turns out that the problem can be solved in a far less invasive way, by sewer lining: clearing out the roots from the inside and lining it to prevent leaking. It is a real alternative and compared to the cost of felling not even that much more expensive. It has simply not been prioritized. Land owner and investor have just chosen the shortest way from A to B, at no time taken into consideration how incredibly valuable this tree is to neighbours, the kindergarten and the coming inhabitants of their newly built real estate. The area is extremely dense with very few green patches and trees.

What is next?
The felling is temporarily put to a halt. We have very little time to hear the neighbours in the adjoining buildings if they would be ready to pay the difference, in lining the sewer on this short stretch. Worst case it would cost 47.000 plus moms. It they agree it is up to the land owner and his investors if they are willing to meet the neighbours halfway and agree to the alternative.
If they decline we need to fund the 10.000 DKR for delaying the felling. But there is no reason why this tree should not survive. It has been cut, but it is still alive and will be able to live for a long time. With a little help.

To be continued.

Young boy from the kindergarten looking on from the spot where the children used to nap outside in the shade of the tree.

Blackbird inspecting the damage from the spot where neighbours say it sings the sun down at the exact same time every night.

So a water deprived plane tree makes a dent in the floor. We will survive, don't you think?

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