European City of the Trees TALLINN 2015
European City of the Trees                                 TALLINN 2015

Amsterdam “European City of Trees” 2012

For the duration of one year, Amsterdam will hold the title “European City of Trees”. The city won an annual award presented to a European city that actively promotes trees in the urban environment, through its policy, management and civil participation. The prize is an initiative of the European Arboricultural Council (EAC), the European branch organisation for arboreal specialists in 21 countries.

On 11 May, at 8.45 a.m., the “European City of Trees Award” will be presented to Dirk de Jager, councilman for the Council of Amsterdam West. This also marks the start of the Dutch Climbing Championships for tree surgeons, taking place in the city, in the presence of Willem Paquay, councilman “Public space and living environment” for the city of Amsterdam District North.

Active tree policy
The City of Amsterdam is the recipient of the award because it has been planting trees in almost every street since the 16th century. For a part, this is the reason that the city centre has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2011. But the city still holds an active tree-planting policy which makes Amsterdam into one of the most densely wooded cities of Europe (the city has some 380,000 trees; in comparison, Paris has 95,000), with some special and often monumental, very old trees. Nowhere else can so many elm trees (75,000) be found together in an urban environment. With intensive checking for the symptoms of elm’s disease and resolute action where this was required, the council of Amsterdam has been able to preserve this characteristic Dutch tree. In 2011 an elm arboretum was opened that contains a unique collection of trees that has global significance. This tree garden attracts many tree lovers, both national and international, to the nation’s capital. The city also actively promotes the added merit of trees and looks for innovative solutions in order to fully cultivate trees in urban areas. Inhabitants of all districts are actively involved in the green policy of the council.

About the Award
The European City of Trees Award has been established to promote arboriculture in Europe by the recognition of innovative arboreal projects, with the aid of decent management, “best practice” and education. By doing so, the European branch organisation wants to heighten the awareness of the socio-economic importance of trees in urban areas. These past years, the Award has been presented to Turku (Finland, 2011), Prague (the Czech Republic, 2010), Malmo (Norway 2009), Turin (Italy, 2008) and Valencia (Spain, 2007).

Branch organisation VHG
On behalf of the Dutch tree workers, the Dutch branch organisation VHG for green entrepreneurs is a member of the EAC. The VHG acknowledges that trees play an important role in our environment. The cultivation of trees requires a very special dendrological knowledge and experience.

Both the appreciation of trees and the specific knowledge for taking care of them are under increasing pressure. In order to turn the tide, the branche organisation VHG wants to create more attention for entrepreneurs who are specialised in arboricultural care.


Houten, 9 May 2012

Note to the editor:
For more information, please contact:
Marc Custers (VHG), telephone (0031) 30 659 55 50

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