When it joined the “Trees in Cities” campaign of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the City of Geneva aimed to plant 900 trees by April 2022. To underline its commitment to responding to the climate emergency and mitigate the lack of oases of freshness, it has also just planted the first two Miyawaki micro-forests in Switzerland.
The planting season has begun: it’s going to be bountiful and rich in diversity. 900 trees will be added to the more than 40,000 specimens already on public land to make up for the 300 that had to be removed or cut down last season either because of the bad weather or for health reasons.
The species and sizes are carefully chosen by the Parks and Gardens Service (SEVE) to fit in with the landscape where they are being planted. In addition to storing carbon and absorbing pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, increasing the wooded area is a way of limiting ground warming, freshening the air thanks to evapotranspiration in summer, protecting the soil and limiting erosion by intercepting rainwater.
A greener city
This winter, the parks along the northern shore of the lake (Mon Repos, Moynier, Perle du Lac, William Rappard, Barton) will be given an additional 180 trees. On the other side of the lake, in the parks at La Grange and Eaux-Vives, 150 will be added to the arboreal heritage, which suffered from the bad weather in summer 2020.
Nor are streets being neglected: SEVE will be planting five green oaks on rue du Grand-Pré. The rue Saint-Léger is being adapted to receive eight sophoras from Japan, and on the Quai Capo-d’Istria 11 honey locust trees will be added. The trees have been chosen for their resistance to drought and high temperatures.
Public spaces will have a great diversity of species while maintaining a balance between indigenous and exotic types, with many varieties of oak, field maple and wild service trees, alongside exotics like the Chinese pistachio, the hop hornbeam, the oriental sweetgum and the goldenrain tree. Maps of plantings and trees cut down or damaged can be found at “Tree management“.