Rīga mulls tree protection plans

How can trees that grow outside forests of Rīga be protected, maintained, and under what circumstances can they be felled? On Thursday, January 4, Riga City Council discussed this with experts and is now awaiting people's thoughts, Latvian Radio reported. 

A large tree has been sawn off on Slokas Street next to the stop “Dārzu Street” and near Riga's 41st high school construction site. The society of Dzirciems and Iļģuciems neighborhoods expressed outrage at this on the social platform Facebook. Riga Municipal Police and the State Fire and Rescue Service said that sawing off the great tree was permitted because the tree had suffered in a storm in the summer.

In a few months, it's the second time a mighty tree has been sawn off in Iļģuciems district.

On Thursday, Riga City Council representatives discussed the planned changes to the local government regulations with experts. The biggest focus will be on tree damage and the protection area. New binding rules are expected.

"In the critical root protection zone, the trench-free method shall be used or, if technically impossible, excavation works shall be carried out with an air shovel, vacuum excavator or without the application of machinery without damaging tree roots. If this is not observed, it is considered to be damage to trees,” said Viktorija Belerte, deputy head of Riga City Council director's office.

Residents can submit proposals for tree protection have been urged for residents to submit within ten days. This can be done on the Council's website or by post. It is planned that amendments to the regulations may come into force at the beginning of summer.

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