The next two years have a lot in store for the 25 monumental chestnut trees along Koninginnegracht. The tram track will be renewed and widened. In order to spare the chestnuts the Municipality decided that the new tram rails shall be built a couple of metres further away from the trees. But before that work will be taken in hand, the waterside wall will be replaced and this will have consequences for the trees.
To begin with the branches on the waterside will be cut back to about 2,5 metres above the surface of the water. This will create a working space for the renovation of the wall. The new wall will be built from the waterside in order to prevent damage to the roots of the trees and consolidation of the soil around them.
Beginning of June the Municipality, a member of the Board of Advice for Monumental Trees and an independent expert investigated for each tree the minimum amount of cutting back that will be necessary. This was done from the water in order to get a good picture of the (im)possibilities to preserve the branches.
Thin branches within the working area will be pulled up and fastened with ratched lashing to bigger branches above. When the work will be finished these branches will be released and they will bend down again to their original height.
After the cutting the thick branches will be wrapped in jute to protect them during the work on the waterside wall. During this work a tree expert will have supervision and there will be a daily consultation with the contractor. Should it seem necessary to cut more branches, the tree expert will decide.
After the cutting, in August the stability of each tree will be measured to make sure that the trees are firmly rooted. After the building of the new waterside wall this investigation will be repeated to prove that the contractor did his work well.
28 June 2013, FH