How does the City protect its trees? / News

20,000 trees

The City has strengthened its planting policy during this term. Objective: to provide Lille with 20,000 additional trees by 2026. The milestone has already been reached! Municipal teams plant as part of construction or development work, greening schoolyards, enriching green spaces or in certain streets at the request of residents. Community planting is also on the rise. Residents are happy to join municipal technicians in handling the shovel. A way to reconnect with nature and become agents of change.

The challenge of trees in the city is multiple: well-being in the urban setting, balance in the landscape and enrichment of biodiversity. Trees have also become essential in a logic of ecological transition and the fight against global warming.

Technical control !

The City has more than 50,000 trees that undergo a “technical inspection” every four years. For very busy sites, the visit takes place every year (schools, Champ de Mars esplanade, etc.). The City’s Tree Policy and Demineralization department manages the tree heritage and its monitoring. The following are observed: the general appearance of the tree, the root system, dead or broken branches, the presence of fungi or insects.

Dangerous tree?

When there is doubt about the danger of a tree, and before felling it, it is examined by other arborist experts who place sensors around the trunk and send a sound wave by tapping on a nail driven into the tree. This is called a tomography examination. Depending on the speed of the sound, they determine whether there are cavities or not. The tree can also be subjected to a tensile test. The experts then reproduce the force of the wind, and therefore the resistance of the tree, by pulling on it using cables.

To plant more!


The City has signed two agreements with Enedis (electricity network) and Dalkia (urban heating network) on planting trees near underground networks. Devices are put in place (anti-root protection, geotextile, warning mesh, sheaths) to guide the root system of the trees and allow cohabitation with the networks. An innovative approach to plant even more.

Dead wood


In suitable sites (Citadel, cemeteries, parks and gardens), dead trunks and trees are sometimes left in place. They serve as shelter and food for insects and birds.

Air !

For new trees, the size of the planting pit is larger than before. But for trees already planted, a demineralization system is starting to be put in place. When possible, the City enlarges the pits at the foot of the trees to bring more comfort to the roots, more rainwater and organic matter.

> For more information: City of Lille – Nature in the city on 03 62 26 08 28.

By Sabine Duez

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