In the park on Bandalaan in Eindhoven, a start has been made with the recovery of the monumental tree that burned down last week. Seven men were working on Thursday to get the job done. A crowdfunding campaign has so far raised over 8,000 euros for the restoration of the tree.
Anyone walking through Bandalaan will hear the sound of a chainsaw all morning. The stage that stood around the 262-year-old tree is being sawn into pieces and removed. The men themselves describe it as ‘the first aid that a burned tree needs’.
Roots and soil
“The decking consisted of plastic and wood. Those small burnt pieces have to be removed from the ground by hand as quickly as possible. That way, we can spare the tree’s roots,” explains Ton Stokwielder of ‘Stichting Wereldboom‘ (world tree foundation). In addition, the team lays a new layer of soil. “The trunk of the tree, the leaves and the branches at the top of the tree have been severely damaged. By laying down high-quality compost, we hope to give the tree all the nutrients it needs.”
With the work, the men hope that the tree can be saved. And there is certainly hope. According to Ton, two scenarios are possible in the recovery of the tree. “We hope that the old tree will recover from the branches at the top. If that doesn’t work because the trunk is dead, we will focus on the root system, which is still healthy. If that succeeds, the tree will have risen from the dead in 40 years’ time as a ‘new’ healthy tree.”
Scenario one, he says, has about a ten percent chance of succeeding. But scenario two, in which they focus on the tree’s roots, has a 70 to 80 percent chance of succeeding. To give the roots as much chance of recovery as possible, the monumental tree has been surrounded by fencing since Thursday.
On Wednesday, three teenagers were arrested for the fire that broke out at the world tree. It concerns two suspects of 16 and 18 from Eindhoven and a young man of 18 from Nuenen. “I expect it was an accident. That it got way out of hand.”
The team expects to finish the repair work Friday morning and from then on it is hoped that the tree will survive.