Trees, trees, trees...

I can’t say it often enough. They are so delightful. I have just enjoyed their usefulness in the heat in Barcelona while on holiday. I am always impressed by the city’s focus on trees. So many trees and indeed you can feel the difference in temperature. The city’s administration and citizens have understood how trees can help them to reduce heat loads. Other cities follow the example, like Milan, which has announced to plant 3 million trees until 2030.

That is something I am still dreaming of here in many places in Germany. The need became even more evident during the enormous heat this summer with temperatures up to 42 degrees. The same situation as last year and this is expected to be the new normal in just a couple of years time.
Last year, I wrote an article (in German) about simple measures to adapt and put together a list of simple options. Among the recommendations was also “let trees grow big” accompanied by a picture from my town with trees cut small (below, left side). At that time, I could not imagine that one could cut them even more! 

This year, all that is left is just a stump with a few leaves (above, right side). Why?! Would they take too much light? Produce too much dirt? Nice overheated parking places! And not really a place to stay. Well, maybe some people like that …(?) Do people favour light (and less green) and clean, empty space over cooling hot outdoors space with trees, which also impacts the indoors? Or do they simply not know yet that such summers won’t be the exception in short and that trees can be so effective in cooling?