The issue

Trees and tree avenues are our green lungs, but they do far more than simply supply us with vital oxygen. Rows of trees and single-standing trees provide valuable eco-niches for countless animals. They protect against heat and wind, temper the climate and provide an aesthetic feature that is beyond compare. And the older a tree is, the more irreplaceable it is for the protection of biodiversity.

All too often, the value of our trees is irresponsibly misjudged. For example, when it comes to planned developments, roads or tram lines, old trees are often “in the way”. Old trees need more care to stay alive and to ensure stability. This means additional costs, which is why they are often declared “diseased” in order to justify felling.

As a result, entire avenues are cleared away due to improper planning or misguided understanding of urban development, and trees are maimed or felled as if they were disposable items.

Our project

Fondation Franz Weber is not prepared to stand by and do nothing in the face of this insidious ecological and aesthetic catastrophe in Switzerland! In recent years, Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) has campaigned repeatedly in Switzerland for the protection of individual trees or entire avenues. This with great success!

Especially at the beginning of each year, in February and March, before the birds nest in trees to breed, many trees are felled all over Switzerland.

In winter 2015, for example, a magnificent avenue of poplars was to be chopped down in a highly dubious lightning-strike operation in Tägermoos (canton of Thurgau, Switzerland). When the emergency call reached Foundation Franz Weber, the chainsaws were already screeching. Yet, thanks to our immediate intervention, the part of the avenue still standing – around two thirds of the trees – could be saved. And we demanded that the felled trees had to be replaced.

Another example, in February 2020, 39 ash trees and 14 other trees were to be felled in the Kandertal Nature Reserve in the municipality of Spiez (canton of Bern, Switzerland). Although the felling was already in full swing, an open letter from Fondation Franz Weber to the president of the municipality was fortunately able to bring about an immediate halt to the felling. The last-minute intervention of the FFW prompted the municipality to reconsider the decision to fell the remaining 35 trees.

Moreover, in March 2020, a 150-year-old protected copper beech on private land in Basel, Switzerland was saved thanks to the courageous initiative of the owner and the support of Fondation Franz Weber.

Fondation Franz Weber acts very rapidly and with little funding in this field, connecting players and sharing the necessary expertise for saving trees in close collaboration with renowned Swiss tree care specialist Fabian Dietrich.


Our goals

  • Save and protect old tree monuments in Switzerland
  • Consistently safeguard tree avenues that have become rare in Switzerland
  • Raise public awareness about the value of trees and tree-lined avenues

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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