The issue

Trees and forests are of fundamental importance to humanity as a whole, and to Switzerland in particular, due to their environmental, landscape, cultural heritage, and social functions. Trees bear witness to our history (some yews can live up to 1,500 years!), produce our oxygen, provide shelter for countless species of animals and plants, and act as guardians of the coolness and moisture we urgently need today. Trees also serve an essential social function. They bring us together, calm us, and bear witness to the passage of time. Trees are our life.

Trees are especially important in cities: a city without green spaces becomes unbearable. Many cities are aware of this and are developing plans to protect and expand their “tree canopy”, the area covered by trees. Nevertheless, in Switzerland, countless trees are cut down every year, often out of “convenience”, because they obstruct a construction project or a neighbour’s view, because their leaves fall, or because they die. Mostly, however, they are not properly cared for or have been damaged by human interference.

These trees could and should be preserved to combat the effects of global warming, improve our quality of life, and promote biodiversity—especially in urban areas!

Our project

Every felled tree is a small ecological and landscape disaster. Fondation Franz Weber works tirelessly to prevent the unnecessary loss of trees in urban and peri-urban areas. Thanks to objections from its sister organisation, Helvetia Nostra, discussions with municipal and cantonal authorities, as well as with private individuals and political actions, we very often succeed in saving individual trees, groves or tree avenues. And if the worst cannot be prevented, we manage to postpone felling to protect the birds during the nesting season (from March to the end of July).

Our tree care expert, Fabian Dietrich, typically supports our efforts by producing reports and recommending measures to care for a tree rather than cut it down.

Our goals

  • Protection of trees in urban and peri-urban areas in Switzerland, particularly venerable or historic trees.
  • Protection of tree avenues and groves, which are rare in Switzerland today.
  • Raising public awareness: Trees are crucial for biodiversity and help to combat the effects of global warming.

Facts and Figures

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0 poplars
0 young trees
are the equivalent of one old tree in terms of value for biodiversity
0 years
or older an oak tree can live
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