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Heat and drought cause problems for street trees

A newly planted tree in the Zwinger Garden in front of the Hausmannsturm / Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa
A newly planted tree in the Zwinger Garden in front of the Hausmannsturm / Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa

Heat and drought are hard on street trees. Preserving them involves a great deal of effort - but it is worth it. They make an important contribution to the urban climate.

The city of Dresden sees its street trees facing major challenges. Heat, drought, compacted and mostly cramped living space are challenging for the approximately 54,000 street trees, the state capital announced on Thursday. According to the report, however, the great effort put into maintaining the stock, compensating for losses and planting previously treeless streets is worthwhile. "Street trees not only provide more greenery in the city, they also make an essential contribution to combating heat and improving the urban climate," said Eva Jähnigen, Mayor of the Environment, according to the press release. A street with trees heats up less than a street without trees.

According to the city, 624 new trees will be planted in the current planting season, which ends in spring. This will continue from November. A further 643 trees will then be added by spring 2025. Tree species will be planted that can tolerate heat and drought stress and are better able to cope with the climatic conditions expected in the future. These include field maple, French castle maple and hop hornbeam.

The average cost is 4700 euros per tree, although according to the information provided, the cost of relocating or laying new cables can significantly increase the price. This was the case in Riesaer Straße, for example. For the planting of ten columnar oaks, a disused gas pipeline had to be removed, a media protection system installed and tree pits with an area of 12 square meters each had to be created. The costs here amounted to around 136,846 euros (around 13,700 euros per tree). "At first glance, that sounds like a lot of money for one tree, but it's money well and wisely invested," said Jähningen, referring to the positive impact on the local climate.

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