Climate activists secretly plant 500 trees in Puurs-Sint-Amands

Over the past week the climate action group The Phantom Tree Company has secretly planted more than 500 trees at locations in the East Flemish municipality of Puurs-Sint-Amands. All the trees were planted at night and without the permission of the owners of the land on which they were planted. The Phantom Tree Company says that it intends to continue planting trees on land owned by the local and regional authorities and inter-municipal companies. 

The action group believes that actions speak louder than words. A spokesman for that group that used the pseudonym Kasper for the purposes of an interview with VRT Radio 2 East Flanders said “We plant trees at night on waste ground that is owned by local authorities and inter-municipal companies". “We do this without the permission of the land owner”.  

In just 1 week they have already planted 500 trees.

“They are on land that nothing has been done with for year, apart from mowing the grass a couple of times a year. We have planted trees in the Gansbroekstraat next to the A12 motorway, on land next to the Clothilde water ski club and just past the De Vliet petrol station.  

The activists are not afraid of being punished for their illicit tree-planting.

“We hope above all that we will get the support of other with a heart for the climate”.  

"A tree cleans away as much CO₂ as 1,600m² of grass. We take into account biodiversity and plant indigenous sorts. We are also going to work with bee-keepers to see which sorts are best for the bees”.     

The action groups hopes to gain the support of the Flemish authorities and the Woodland and Nature Agency. It is keen to stress that its members leave private gardens and other property owned by private citizens well alone.


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