The oak tree outside the Broadcasting House in Stockholm was felled in November 2011. Photo: Bertil Ericson/Scanpix
Tree preservation

Trees under threat in Swedish cities

"Poisoning trees is very simple"
4:55 min

Trees in urban environments can fall and hurt people – and ruin the view from your balcony. But arborists are calling for city residents to see the many benefits of planting trees where they live. Radio Sweden's Sven Hultberg Carlsson met some of them outside Stockholm.

Just down the road from a conference on tree preservation in May, two groundskeepers were giving a birch tree the chainsaw treatment.

The men sawing the tree apart declined to comment, but it seemed that the tree they were chopping up had fallen in a storm.

Mike Ellison is a tree consultant from the United Kingdom. According to him, it's rarely necessary to chop down trees.

"It has a very high cost – in terms of doing the work, and in terms of devaluing the tree as an asset," says Mike Ellison.

In a city, trees can fall foul of other dangers long before they risk coming down in a storm.

Last year, several weeping willows that were about to obstruct some residents' waterside view of the city were also poisoned.

"We really need the trees in the city. This poisoning of trees is very simple to do now, as garden shops sell liquids that are very easy to apply," says Cilla Lundström, a board member of the Swedish Arborists Federation.

Aside from obstructing views, trees also benefit cities and their residents. They muffle noise, provide shade and areas for respite, and even increase the value of the land they are planted on.

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