The trees were felled on Monday morning
After many years of legal proceedings and legal disputes, the municipality of Groningen started removing three large trees in the center of the city on Monday morning. The trees have are highly symbolic, following several years of protests by environmental activists, calling themselves the ‘tree knights‘.
A tree-doctor started removing the three sick or rotten trees, as reported by the GIC.
Initially, five trees were to be felled. Their removal is necessary because the Akerkhof is being redesigned, and it means that the the other trees get more space. It is hoped that more sunlight will now fall on the back of the Akerk, too. Opponents felt that cutting down the hundred-year old trees was unnecessary, and removing a further green island in the city centre.
However, further investigation by the municipality showed that an oak and an elm on the square are still healthy and that they therefore do not need to be felled. The three trees that are were felled were either suffering from disease, or rotting and of poor structural quality.
The removal of the trees is to be compensated by the planting of new trees.
Image via the GIC