December 31, 2015

The year in trees

2015 was a big year for Save the Urban Trees. We have grown to a size that makes us heard, when we speak up. Those who joined us recently may think that we are here to replant the urban trees, but nothing could be further from our purpose. We are working to make the city implement the existing trees in new projects, and have them take better care of the ones we have left.

The year in trees:
One of the big cases was Nørrebros Runddel. Had it not been for the citizen's alarm, the five old and healthy linden trees would be gone today. Instead, we managed to get a dialogue with our mayor of trees Kabell, and saved the old trees.

Further down on Nørrebro we have been fighting for two years to save some of the fifteen endangered trees, on the corner of Møllegade and Guldbergsgade, where the city plans to replace the trees with an open tile square. A little under 3000 citizens have signed the petition to preserve the trees, without leaving the slightest impression on our elected officials. They are planning to fell the trees this spring, but we will fight until they cut them down.

2015 was also the year of the monster hearing reply, as a response to the city's proposal for an urban nature strategy (Høring for Bynær Natur). And the year where we were allowed to conquer the airwaves in the world's cosiest radio show Natursyn on national radio P1. The media are tuned into trees like never before and we are finally hearing politicians calling for at tree policy for Copenhagen.

Finally there is Mission Maple Tree, our tree from Krauseparken. At the last moment we managed to save the metro-endangered tree on Østerbro. More than anything we would have preferred to see the beautiful ash (turned out to be not-maple, after all) tree preserved in the native soil, but sadly that was not an option. This is why we pulled together and in record time miraculously managed to raise the funds to move the tree to Fælledparken. A 14.000 dkr telegram from the citizens to our politicians, to wake up and take better care of our urban trees. Cough.

The coming year is going to be exciting. We have grown into union-size, and more people are requesting the option to support the cause financially. We also have to launch that tree map. We are so close, if only the city would curb the chainsaw.. How about that, Morten Kabell?

Happy New Year!

Read this post in Danish here: Året i træer.

December 18, 2015

Mission accomplished!

Make room for the mother of all recaps, on the flash-crowdfunded citizen-saved tree, also known as Mission Maple Tree. Picture heavy, cronological and detailed. Moving day: the front car with the rotten banana in the drivers seat, stayed put, but the crucial two moved by some miracle. Michael from Det Grønne Team (The Green Team) got there first, and then came the gravel. Six tonnes sound of more than it looks. The Nemgrus man was kind: "no assignment is too small".

We now have 6 tonnes of gravel up for grabs (worth about 1800 dkr), in Krauseparken. Spread the word.

The ramp was easy. The gravel was stamped and covered. It was the fence from hell, that presented the biggest obstacle. No one saw that coming.

Wood to spare the lawn. (The fence before we dug in, luckily not as new, so hopefully we will be able to restore it, and maybe even improve it slightly).

This fence would not just let itself be pulled up. It was unwilling to cooperate in any way. But we managed to tear it out of the soil. The reestablishing headache would have to wait, because with the fence in place, the move would not be possible.

Last qualified suggestion as to species, is American Ash. But one does not change the name mid-mission, for any reason. It is an estimated twenty years of age, and one of nature's own, a self seeded tree. A tree beating all the odds, and growing so big and beautiful with no help from a nursery. This tree just deserves the chance to fight.

And them came the mover

The grabber unfolded and our flash-crowdfunded ramp performed its duty.

The "nails" dug in, one by one. It would not have happened with that fence in place.

What the fence looks like now. We have called Ishøj Hegn to get a quote on a repair (not a replacement because that is just unbelieveable expensive), it is in on Wednesday December 23rd.

The our tree was on the truck, and ready to go.

Second obstacle we had not anticipated: Christmas decorations! Low hanging knick-knacks forced the moving truck to find an alternative route, but eventually he made it to Strandboulevarden. We rode ahead of him in the gardener's truck, with windows all the way down and arms sticking out. Keeping an eye on the crown of the tree, and trying to avoid collisions with other trees and wires. We were so close, when the mission came to a halt in a huge intersection on Østerbrogade.

A low hanging wire was in the way. Michael was as passionate about the mission as any of us: this can't be it, we will find a way! He jumped out of the car, ran into the intersection and climbed the tree. A drama best illustrated in black-and-white.

The mover and the gardner gently tied down the crown. No hysterical honking from the afternoon traffic, not even once. And then we got there. Greeted by a city gardener.

While the tree was still on the horisontal, Michael cut the damaged branches, to minimize exposure to fungus and rot.

And then the tree was lowered and positioned. I a rich clay soil, as the city gardner said was so much better for the tree than what it came from.

So tall that we have to turn the format.

The new neighbors, our tree to the left.

We made it!

The tree is not just across from Jagtvej nr 181. The tree closest to the metro fence, on the corner.

A suggestion has been made that we raise a small plaque with the history of the tree and the move. We have to check with the city, if that is possible. And then we have to meet and dance around our beauiful tree, of course. This calls for a celebration.

This has all been made possible by the citizens, supporting so big and so fast. Without this support, the beautiful tree would have been felled today. This is something we achieved together. The funding is made in two parts. The first paid for the mover, the second for the ramp. Here is the list of contributors for the second round:

A big thank you to everyone who supported.
Here is an overview of the expenses as of today:

It will be a little more with the fence, but we also managed to raise more funds, before we stopped collecting. It is impossible to say how much the fence is going to cost. It may be that more help is needed, we will just have to find that. Any funds not spent will be returned, of course.

Finally we have received a sweet mail from The Green Team, where the owners donate 500 dkr to Mission Maple Tree. So sweet. And even more so because their huge effort made the whole difference. Never again shall I underestimate the importance of having a resourceful gardener involved.

We have all reason to be proud of what we have accomplished, by standing united as citizens. We have made a huge difference and we shall continue to do so. I hope you agree?

December 14, 2015

Mission Maple update

Our citizen's rescue mission have made a big impression on everyone from politicians to the media. Maybe they are starting to realise how important the trees are to us. TV Lorry is looking forward to document the journey and journalists are pushing for updates.

According to plans the big move was set for today but we had no such luck. It turns out that we were misinformed, the gravel ramp needed for the moving truck to cross the elevated edge, was not included in the quote. And the Metro Company won't be involved in the project in any way, even if we offer to pay for it.

All they are willing to do, is to push the deadline one last time, so we can make our own ramp. We have until Friday, and that is final. We have come so far and fought so hard to save that tree, so let's do it. We build our own ramp!

The plan is to do it on Wednesday. We need a day for the gravel and maschinery to arrive, and payment is in advance, so time is short.
I have spoken to a company willing to deliver and remove the gravel. And I have talked to the garderners Det Grønne Team, who will stabilize the gravel and provide free planks to put on top (and remove them again afterwards). They will only charge us for the working hours, lending us the machinery for free. In all the ramp (and getting rid of it afterwards) will cost us 6500 dkr.

The question is if the citizens are willing to go the extra mile? I have heard from people that were sad they didn't have the chance to help finance the move. That is now possible. Contributors list is publicised afterwards (anonymous or by name, your choice). If you want to contribute, let me know by direct message, and I will give you the information you need. If we don't reach our goal, the money is returned, of course.

It is a hassle but it is possible. And if the Metro Company can build tunnels under the entire city, surely we can build a ramp and move that tree. There is still time.

From a spring moving in the City of The Elderly.

December 13, 2015

The Administration recommends...

The Technical- and Environmental Council for the City of Copenhagen convenes tomorrow. On the agenda is a recommendation from the Administration, to fell a healthy twenty year old linden tree, by Frederiksholms Kanal and replant a new one five meters further up the road. Why? To improve the view. 

Red circle: "disturbing" tree. Yellow circle: planting site of replacement tree.

According to the Administration the tree disturbs the view of the bridge Marmorbroen, and access for pedestrians would improve without it.

From the proposal:

This is not a joke. And it is not even funny seeing how the recommendations of the Administration are usually followed. As a citizen one can only hope that someone in the council reads up on this suggestion, and turns it down.

While we are busy saving a tree in Krauseparken.

December 12, 2015

We made it!

Citizens have crowdfunded the rescue of the endangered mapletree in Krauseparken. In two days we have raised the 7500 dkr, with contributions all the way from Jutland. I have spoken to Jørgen Dahl Madsen, in charge of coordinating the treemoving, and with Jesper from Nordisk Træflyt (Nordic Treemoving), and on Monday they will lift the tree and move it to its new spot in Fælledparken.

This is a piece of Copenhagen history: citizens save an urban tree. We will follow the journey on Monday, and once it is settled in we will dance around it and celebrate the big event. 

The mapletree, summer edition.

List of contributors, for mission mapletree:


A big thank you to everyone who supported and shared the outcry. Together we have saved a tree!

December 11, 2015

Mission mapletree

Saturday status: we are so close, with 6400 dkr in, we are only 1100 dkr from saving the mapletree. Amazing!

We just stopped the chainsaw! At this very moment the mapletree in Krauseparken were about to be felled, but we are so close to saving it, that the deadline has been postponed until Monday.

Late last night we got a green light to replant the tree in Fælledparken, but we still need to pay for the move. The ramp made by the Metro Company, is extra, in total the move is going to cost 7500 dkr, payable in advance.

With an emergency-crowdfunding, we may just be able to save the tree! All donations will be made public (with your choice of anonymity). If you want to support the cause get in touch by mail, I will give you my number and you can transfer by mobilepay. That way we know exactly what comes in, and from whom, and if we don’t reach the full amount, we have a way to refund the donations. But we will make the full amount, we simply must save this tree. /Sandra

PS! As an added bonus the tree will be planted in public soil, giving the city a taste of the concept. They are sceptical, but willing to try it out.

PPS! The local newspaper Østerbro Avisen are reporting on our rescue mission, with a picture from the (once a) park. All the trees have been felled but one, our poor mapletree. Oh.…/redningsaktion-for-trae-i-krauseparken/

December 10, 2015

Save a tree

This week the Metro Company begins preparations for the new Nordhavn line, costing us trees in Krauseparken on Østerbro. Unlike the senseless felling by the City in Møllegade, of fifteen trees to be replaced by tiles, this project is about digging deep for an emergency exit. No way around that.

We asked if there was a chance that any of the nine trees could be moved, and met with the tree movers and the Metro Company. It is a strange park, with lots of stones in multiple levels and in an architectonical brain fart, lamps have been placed in the root zone of the trees, making it impossible to move five of them. Three other cherry trees are too big to move.

But one can be saved (picture with arrow). A beautiful mapletree, that with a little effort can be moved. It is on a raised level, so the Metro Company will make a slide of gravel for the moving truck. And a fence needs to be moved slightly, to make room for the grabber. Now it all depends on whether we can find a taker for the tree. The tree itself is free of charge, the moving expenses are 5000 dkr, if moved on the same day, in the Copenhagen area. The tree is advertised in today’s Østerbro Avis (on the front page, no less). 

Time is running out, if we don’t find a new owner, it will be felled tomorrow at 11 AM. This can’t happen. If all else fails we must crowdfund the cost of storing the tree on Træbørsen (treestorage facility), until a new owner can be located.

Cable map of Krauseparken surroundings.

 Tree felling map, one can still be saved.

Cherry trees, too big to move, by the available truck.

The sky surprised us with a rainbow over the Krauseparken trees. In case anyone needed a sign.

It would be so fantastic to save this tree, and follow its progress in years to come. Anyone have space for a tree?

December 2, 2015

A double alarm

The Metro-company plan to fell nine trees next week in Krauseparken on Østerbro, to make room for equipment for the upcoming Nordhavn-line. The rest of the park trees will be felled in spring. It is close, but still not too late, and we are fighting along with the treemovers to make them reconsider, and move the nine trees instead of felling them.

And now another alarm sounds: on Vigerslev Alle (Valby) the city plans to widen the road and “replace” the existing old trees. Also next week.

Note from the city, reads: The trees are about to be felled. The trees along Vigerslev Allé will be replaced during the remodeling of Vigerslev Allé. It is necessary to fell the trees as Vigerslev Allé is going to be widened. The City of Copenhagen have for this reason decided to replace all the trees along Vigerslev Allé between Enghavevej and Vestre Kirkegårds Allé with new trees. They will be planted in new, big planting holes and good growth conditions so they will last for years to come. The trees will be felled in week 50.

The pace of the deforestation in Copenhagen is unreal. We have to make sure, the nine trees that can me moved, won’t be felled next week. 

Read this post in Danish here: To alarmer.