Drought already disastrous for 2000 trees in Barcelona

by Lorraine Williamson
trees in Barcelona

The Barcelona City Council has announced that it will prune 42,545 of the city’s 250,000 trees during the 2024 pruning season. That amounts to 17% of the total.

The pruning campaign runs throughout the year, but is most intensive from January to May and from October to December. Of the total number of trees to be pruned, 29,784 are in the streets. In addition, there are 12,423 in parks and gardens.

Since the beginning of the exceptional drought, the municipality has indicated that the condition of trees in the city has been monitored. This is to see what the impact of the drought is. According to the data collected, the estimated number of dead trees was around 2,000 until February this year.

As long as they do not have problems and are healthy, the trees along the roads in the city are pruned on average every five years as needed. Pruning is classified into different categories depending on the stage of development of the tree and the season in which it is done. The municipality emphasises that pruning is always an aggression for the tree and therefore pruning is only done when necessary. This ensures that the tree does not lose strength and safety, while maintaining the tree’s most important environmental contributions.

The tree risk plan

All trees in the city of Barcelona are inspected at least every two years, as stipulated in the current risk plan. Each tree or palm tree has a file with an identification number and all its characteristics, planting date, location, dates of pruning, treatments, pests, inspections, etc.

Cogesa Expats

In the year 2023, 124,345 trees were checked, and this year, the plan is to do the same with a minimum of 121,349 trees. If deviations are identified after the audit, the corresponding corrective actions are programmed. It is also possible that the tree will be removed. If no abnormalities are detected, the tree will be checked again after two years.

Investments needed to provide green space

In view of the current drought, the city council explains that investments of €14.4 million are planned to expand the groundwater network. As a result, more trees and green spaces in the city can be irrigated with non-potable water.

An investment of more than €12.65 million is also planned to improve the irrigation infrastructure in several parks and gardens with the aim of taking care of greenery through the responsible use of water.

In order to save as many trees as possible, the city government has set up an irrigation system that allows groundwater to reach the parts of the city that are not reached through the network. Several irrigation areas have been created to preserve as much of the trees and green heritage as possible.

You may also like