Damaged trees were cut down for safety reasons in the Träskända nature reserve

16.1.2023 13.47Updated: 30.1.2023 7.48

The City of Espoo has cut down trees in the nature reserve of the Träskändan kartanopuisto park. Trees were cut down near Auroran koulu and Lippajärven päiväkoti during the school Christmas holiday. The reason for this is damage caused by the European spruce bark beetle.

Aerial view from 2021. The grey-coloured treetops indicate dead trees. In 2022, the situation deteriorated further.

In November 2022, representatives of the city and the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) inspected the area and detected some 150 dead spruce trees in the forest next to the school and day care centre. A decision was made to cut down the damaged trees for safety reasons. The trees were cut down during the school Christmas holiday in order to minimise the number of people passing through the area. The nature reserve has a path that many children use on their way to school. Many of the dead spruce trees were located along this path. The nature reserve is also a popular recreational area for local residents. Due to active use, the field layer of the area is worn out.

The request to cut down the trees came from local residents and the nearby school. The nature reserve of the Träskändan kartanopuisto park is a cultural and historical site of national importance. When measures are planned regarding such sites, different objectives and perspectives have to be taken into account. The City of Espoo has extensive experience in the management of urban forests and the protection of biodiversity. The city also cooperates with different stakeholders and authorities.

For safety reasons, the trees were cut down using a forest machine. When a decayed tree is cut down, it can break, tear or fall in an unexpected direction. Therefore, using a forest machine is the safest option.

Winter is the best time for cutting, as the frost and snow protect the vegetation of the forest floor from the weight of the machines, and there are no birds or other animals nesting in the trees.

As the work progressed, the damage proved to be more extensive than anticipated. Approximately 200 trees were cut down.

Cutting down the damaged trees did not harm the biodiversity of the forest

The City of Espoo and the ELY Centre carried out another inspection in the area on 5 January 2023. According to the inspection, the trees had been cut down in compliance with protection regulations, the management and use plan and what had been agreed upon following the initial inspection. A decision was also made to continue the work as planned, including placing the tree trunks in the forest.

The aim is to leave the cut trunks in the nature reserve, but some of them have to be removed, as such a large number of dead trees in a small area would pose a safety risk. It would also slow down the natural regeneration of the forest. Some of the trunks remaining in the forest have been temporarily piled up to facilitate the cutting. Most of the trunks will be placed back in the forest to steer pedestrians and to increase biodiversity.

Cutting down the damaged trees did not harm the biodiversity of the forest. It will, however, accelerate the regeneration of the forest, which would have taken place even without human intervention but at a much slower pace. Plenty of decaying trunks and high stumps will be left in the forest to protect its biodiversity. It is essential to steer recreational use to existing paths, allowing the field layer to regenerate and new growth to emerge.


  • Nature