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Nearly 135 trees cut down on Avenue Eugène Demolder
The city of Schaerbeek began cutting down 134 plane trees on Avenue Eugène Demolder today. Residents were informed by post a week ago and immediately started a petition to stop it.
That effort failed, but many of them stood in the street today to protest and take pictures of the felling of the trees. About half came down today, and the work will continue tomorrow.
The street is being resurfaced in a project that also includes bike lanes, new pavements and speed cushions. But the residents said they would rather not see the 25-year-old plane trees disappear.
The trees are infected by the sycamore lace bug, according to Vincent Vahalewyn (Ecolo), the city councillor in charge of public works. “And the roots have been damaged because of previous works,” he told Bruzz.
Place du Jeu de Balle down 14 trees
The felled trees will be replaced by 89 linden trees, he said. “They will absorb more CO2 in total, despite there being fewer of them than there were plane trees. They are also sources of nectar, which is better for bees and therefore for biodiversity.”
How long it will take for the young linden trees to be big enough to perform those tasks was not made clear. He did say, however, that the cost to maintain the plane trees was substantial.
The action follows a similar situation in the Marolles earlier this month, when residents complained about the destruction of 12 trees that were growing in Place du Jeu de Balle. Two of the trees had been knocked down by storm winds, so Brussels-City decided to cut the top half of 12 more trees away. It is not the intention that they grow back.
Brussels-City councillor in charge of green space said that some of the trees were “old” and others “sick”. She said that the city planned new trees for the square “eventually”. There are still 30 trees on Place du Jeu de Balle.
Photo: Bart Vanoppen/Facebook