In late August, local media in Gdańsk raised the alarm that local authorities were planning to fell 300 diseased and dying trees, some of them at least a century old, along a section of road north-west of the city.
If you have ever driven, cycled, or simply walked anywhere in Poland’s northern Pomerania region, the tree-lined roads are impossible to miss. Often planted back in the 19th century, when the region was still part of Germany, the trees have now grown tall and thick to become one of Pomerania’s landmarks.
“These beautiful trees…are older than the grandparents of those who decide to fell them,” the writer Stanisław Łubieński told Gazeta Wyborcza. “Whole worlds inhabit them: birds, invertebrates, mushrooms. Under normal conditions, they would be natural monuments.”
It was Łubieński who, driving through the region, spotted that the trees on either side of the road had numbers painted on them, an oft-used way to mark those slated for removal. He alerted the media and started a petition to save the avenue.
In response to the backlash, the local road authorities claimed that the trees were in poor health and rotting inside, and that high winds could cause serious damage. Removing them was a “preventative measure”.
When asked about this explanation, Agata Brzezińska, head of the Aquila Foundation, a nature protection NGO, sighs.
“This is commonplace where we work, which is the Wrocław county. Sadly, there is good evidence to suggest that it is commonplace countrywide,” Brzezińska told Notes from Poland.
The evidence Brzezińska refers to is fragmentary, because there are no data at the national level on how many trees are being felled in Poland every year outside of the forests (where logging has also been on the rise, according to a recent study in Nature).
Yet national and local media reveal do much to reveal that, as Brzeziński and other activists note, this is clearly a widespread issue. A search of local news about felling of trees in Polish towns and cities returns close to 100 articles from nearly as many locations published in the past 30 days alone.
Typical reasons given for removal include safety and clearing the land for investment, such as a new or upgraded road. Yet the loss of trees causes not only aesthetic hardship, it also damages the local environment, as they help retain rainwater and the reduce the so-called heat island effect.
The news reports also document what seems a growing citizens’ movement against the removals – sometimes even pulling off a victory over what Brzezińska describes as a mix of ignorance and laziness.
“Earlier this year we saved an avenue in Unisław Śląski [in Lower Silesia] from being destroyed after local authorities simply ordered that 53 trees be chopped down – they are around 90 years old – without properly analysing the state of their health,” Brzezińska said.
Brzezińska’s foundation took the matter to court and won, with the local authorities ordered to reconsider their decision to cut the trees down.
“The court also spelled out what exactly is wrong with inconsiderate getting rid of trees in general,” Brzezińska said.
In its pronouncement, the court pointed out that trees by the roadside “prevent drivers from being blinded by headlights of vehicles coming from the opposite direction and protect the road from wind and snow as well as from excessive noise, air, water and soil pollution”.
They are also a valuable element of the landscape and “should be protected carefully,” the court said. These are the basics of what anyone responsible for trees should know, Brzezińska says. “Yet, too often, cost calculation wins,” she says.
…Andrzej Gąsiorowski, a lawyer living in Sochaczew near Warsaw, and also one of the founders of FOTA4Climate, an environmental movement, says cutting trees should be all but banned altogether.
“We must not cut trees because they mitigate the effects of climate change. Trees are also vital for maintaining biodiversity in cities,” said Gąsiorowski, who runs a blog highlighting cases of the “pathological and compulsive human activity that cutting trees is”.
“We need trees to diminish the heat island effect in cities and reduce pollution first and foremost. There are 44,000 premature deaths in Poland because of air pollution and yet we’re cutting trees countrywide,” says Marzena Suchocka.
“Trees, especially old ones, are irreplaceable. Cut down a 200-year-old tree and no amount of new trees will ever replace it unless you want to wait 200 years for them to start delivering the same amount of ecosystem services,” she adds.
Anyone familiar with the draconian dictates of the United Nations Agenda 21 will recognize exactly where this mania over trees is headed — they want it to become an international crime against humanity to cut down any tree without proper approval by a court of law and environmental “experts”.
This article points out that there is no national data collected in Poland about how many trees are cut down in the country outside the lumber industry — as if there should be.
Imagine the bureaucracy that would be required to keep those statistics and monitor every tree potentially cut down.
At one time, most of Poland — and every other European nation — was virtually clear cut to make way for farmland to feed people — trees may be attractive but they don’t feed people.
And despite that massive amount of clear cutting, the environment in Poland didn’t seem to suffer — the earth didn’t heat up apparently.
No one can seriously believe there is a “war on trees” in Poland — or that local towns enjoy cutting down trees for the fun of it — or because they think tree-less streets are more attractive.
This issue isn’t about trees or saving the planet — it’s about government control of every aspect of your everyday life.
And the idea that the Rothschild banking cabal promotes the “Green Economy” because they care about the environment is the height of stupidity — this is the same family that financed two World Wars that reduced half of Europe to cinders.