Work to save Anne Frank tree starts
The mould-infected tree will soon have a support construction that will prevent it from breaking.7 April 2008
AMSTERDAM - Work begins on Monday on a support construction which is intended to save the mould-infected Anne Frank tree.
In November 2007, there was an outcry after the borough of Amsterdam City Council issued a permit to cut down the tree. There were fears it would fall and damage the houses in the immediate vicinity, including the Anne Frank House and Museum.
The tree was due to be cut down on 21 November, but it was granted a two month stay of execution the day before, giving the Support Anne Frank Tree Foundation the chance to come up with an alternative plan.
After weeks of judicial wrangling, expert reports, an on-site inspection by the court and international mass media attention, it looked like the tree, the only thing Anne Frank could see outside her hiding place was being given a second chance.
Botanists have calculated that the tree could live another five to 15 years. It is suffering from an aggressive fungus known as "Artist's Conk". Three years ago, its crown was drastically trimmed to make it more stable. A study concluded that 42 percent of the wood was rotten.
The Anne Frank Foundation says the construction should be completed before May, when the 31-ton horse chestnut will start budding, increasing the chance that its trunk could break. However, tests have shown that the chestnut is strong enough to withstand Force 11 gales.
The support construction will cost EUR 50,000. Funds have already been collected by citizens and local businesses to cover the costs. But the foundation has to raise another EUR 20,000 to trim the crown.
Every year, care of the tree is estimated to cost EUR 10,000. Meanwhile the owner of the tree still holds a permit to cut it down, if all else fails.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica / ANP]
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