A record high number of trees will be planted in the green areas along the streets and in parks of Riga this year, i.e. more than 1,400 trees and also more than 10,000 shrubs. The Housing and Environment Department of Riga City Council continued to plant trees in various neighbourhoods of the capital this autumn and by the end of the year the number of trees planted in the green areas of the city will exceed 400 trees, thus remarkably exceeding the number of trees planted in previous years.
In order to see how tree planting works in colder weather conditions, this week Viesturs Zeps, Chairman of the Housing and Environment Committee of Riga City Council, visited the Māras Pond in Āgenskalns to see the progress and quality of the planting work, and to lend a helping hand in planting the trees.
“Trees are very important in urban areas both for improving air quality and for shelter from the summer heat. So it’s great to see that highly skilled and qualified professionals are continuing to make our city greener in autumn and this year we will have reached a record high number of trees planted. Next year we will have even bigger ambitions and plan to further increase the number of trees planted,” Mr Zeps reveals.
“This year, most of the new trees were planted outside the centre, but next year we plan to pay special attention to the neighbourhoods in the centre of the city and its residents’ suggestions, restoring trees in places where they used to be and also planning new tree sites. This autumn, we also received recommendations for tree planting from Sarkandaugava, Imanta, Bolderāja, Daugavgrīva, and Kundziņsala,” says the Chairman of the Committee.
In the first half of the year, 123 trees were planted, including several dozen at Brīvības Avenue. In total, 236 saplings were planted in autumn and 66 more are planned. This autumn, trees are being planted in various neighbourhoods, e.g. Āgenskalns, Iļģuciems, Imanta, Vecmīlgrāvis, Dzirciems, Mežaparks, Bolderāja, and Vecāķi. Pine, linden, ash, bird cherry, lilac, larch, rowan, oak, maple, poplar, ginkgo, and ornamental apple trees are planted by the company “Labie koki”.
At the end of the summer, the municipal company “Rīgas meži” also planted 150 white willow trees dedicated to the Song and Dance Festival at Ķengarags Promenade, and 41 trees were planted in parks. In the capital, tree planting also takes place during street renovation and other construction projects. A total of 202 trees have been planted in Victory Park, 101 trees have been planted in Rail Baltica-related infrastructure construction projects, for example, along Ģenerāļa Radziņa Embankment, and 519 trees have been planted along the Eastern Motorway. By the end of the year, a total of 1,439 trees will be planted in parks and green areas along streets in Riga.
Riga Municipality also plans to pay more attention to the preservation of planted trees. Continuing and extending the research on the effects of salt in street planting, 11 trees planted in the last two years will be experimented with protective barriers around their support stakes, wrapping material around the trunk and root ball to protect them from splashes from cars driving on the street. This will be done for three oaks on Krasta Street and eight lime trees on Brīvības Avenue. In spring, experts will analyse and evaluate the changes.
Last year, the Housing and Environment Department planted a total of 155 trees in the green areas along the streets of the city that were delivered from a plant nursery in Germany.
These new trees get special care for at least 10 years after planting. Watering and fertilisation are the main focus at the beginning, forming the crown of the trees every other year. The Department’s experts inspect the trees are inspected a few times a year to assess their development and growing conditions. If the trees grow more slowly than they should over these 10 years, the experts look for the causes and try to help the trees. Over the last three years, the conditions for the trees have been improved by additionally feeding them sieved compost, bio-active substances, and slow-release fertiliser.
Information prepared by: Mārtiņš Vilemsons, Project Coordinator at External Communication Division of Riga City Council, email: email@example.com