Many Brussels trees up for the chop due to drought

Many trees in parks across Brussels now face the chop.  They have been weakened by the drought and have become easy prey to parasites and infections.  For a while now tree experts have been warning of the threat posed by climate change and the ramifications for many varieties of tree.

The situation in the Brussels borough of Vorst is particularly worrying: trees in the Duden Park, the Vorst Abbey Park and Vorst Park need to be pruned and even chopped down because they have been weakened by the drought.

The dire situation isn’t limited to Vorst though.  In parks across Brussels trees have been losing leaves as if fall had already arrived.  Some trees needed to be pruned or even chopped down because of the danger they posed.

At Vorst Abbey Park a 120-year-old ash tree required excessive pruning last week to prevent branches from crashing down.  The tree even had to be secured with a special fence.  Fungi have weakened the tree making it easier for branches to break off. The municipal authorities say this isn’t an isolated occurrence.

Recently two trees crashed down onto a road outside the Duden Park and last Wednesday five poplars needed to be felled near a playground at the abbey. 

Alderman Alain Mugabo says it’s not a decision that is taken lightly, to chop down trees, but it’s sometimes necessary to ensure safety.  The alderman adds that when green spaces are replanted choices are made in favour of trees that are more resistant to protracted drought.

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