Tu B'Shvat Status Update: Jerusalem's Trees
During 2011 and 2012 urban planners and staff from SPNI's Jerusalem Community undertook an extensive survey of Jerusalem's trees. The survey focused on mature and unique trees, with special categories for trees over fifty years old, over eighty years old, trees that are endemic to the Jerusalem area and rare trees. The survey, published in 2013, tallied a total of 4,810 trees from 63 species.
In March 2014, the Jerusalem Community achieved a major success promoting the survey. The Jerusalem Regional Planning Committee officially recommended that the survey be taken into consideration as part of the planning procedure, to ensure that the trees preserved. The Tree Survey will continue to be a tool for planning for years to come.
This year the Jerusalem Community is continuing to promote the tree survey as an interactive tool, including the finding in education materials and as a way to create public awareness around preserving, maintaining and nurturing Jerusalem's trees.
In the last year, an additional survey has evaluated the trees in the Kidron Valley and East Jerusalem, areas not included in the original survey. The survey evaluated developed areas as well as open spaces, and included olive groves and small agricultural areas. The new survey compliments the 2013 tree survey and will be published in the coming months.
The city of Jerusalem has certainly made an effort to preserve and maintain Jerusalem's trees this season. The December 2013 snowstorm took down many branches and damaged trees, posing a risk to people and trees alike. This year the municipality pruned and manicures the trees well ahead of the winter season preventing similar damage from occurring again.
We at SPNI are very proud of the work the Jerusalem Community has done to protect the city's trees.