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More than 60,000 Brussels trees felled since 2010

15:30 06/01/2024

More than 62,000 trees have been cut down in the Brussels region since 2010, according to the HELP4Trees citizens collective.

The collective cites data available on the OpenPermits website, which lists the various applications for planning permission in the capital.

According to the organisation, the data reveals that while 62,000 tall trees were felled, only 3,254 were replanted in the last 14 years.

“A young tree planted takes 25 years to produce the same benefits as a tall tree – too late for the pace of climate change,” the collective said, adding: “More than 2,700 trees are in danger of disappearing soon.”

Four municipalities share the majority of the felling: Uccle (14,635 trees felled since 2010), Brussels-City (12,400), Watermael-Boitsfort (5,466) and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre (5,411).

The felled trees count deliberately excludes trees removed as part of the management of the Sonian Forest.

According to the collective, the disappearing trees are a trend set to continue. One application currently being examined in Brussels provides for the felling of 208 trees for new defence headquarters in Haren. Other applications include the felling of 109 threes in Watermael-Boitsfort and 107 in Ixelles.

Almost 2,700 more trees are due to be felled in the near future, prompting a petition to be launched last October, co-signed by Inter-Environnement Bruxelles (IEB) and several neighbourhood associations, calling for the urgent introduction of a trees policy at regional level.

But the petition has so far collected only 71 of the 1,000 signatures needed to be heard by the Brussels environment and energy committee.

The petitioners are calling for "the enactment of a binding legislative framework for the protection of the environment and biodiversity".

HELP4Trees said that administrative issues were at the root of the problem, explaining that the various public bodies and municipalities do not pool data, making it difficult to gain an overview of the tree population.

Written by Helen Lyons



So not such a "GoodMove".

Jan 9, 2024 11:58

The petition is difficult to find: If you open the website with your mobile phone, you will find no link. Only a QR-code. So you have to get a second mobile phone or tablet or laptop to get the link via the QR-code. It is not suprising that many people give up. Not very user friendly website.

Jan 9, 2024 13:57