| Sustainability

Tree cutting on campus


Tree cutting on campus

Construction work on the DESYUM has begun and with it most of the oak trees on the future site have fallen.  We are often asked in connection with construction work on campus whether it is really necessary to cut down trees and shrubs here on campus.

Here is a somewhat more detailed answer:
The development plan for DESY was drawn up decades ago with the aim of maintaining the highest possible development potential for research and science. Originally, the ground on which DESY stands was an empty airfield, which means no healthy, grown nature. At that time, it was decided to leave various areas fallow for the time being and to develop them further only when needed.
Since then, DESY has grown, the research fields have been expanded and the number of employees at DESY has also increased significantly. This has been accompanied by an increased demand from all areas at DESY, but especially from the science groups. DESY cannot demolish the existing research infrastructures (or at most partially). It is also not possible to expand the campus to the outside. Therefore, those areas must now be developed on which trees and shrubs have grown in the last decades.

All tree cuts have been approved and will be compensated at least 1:1. In terms of numbers, this means that there will be no loss of trees. Of course, it is clear that the newly planted trees will need a few years to reach the ecological performance of their "predecessor". In the upcoming measures, the compensation areas will therefore even be double. Here, not only the number of trees is considered, but the entire ecosystem. However, not all of these areas will be available on the campus. DESY is currently coordinating with the district of Altona and the city of Hamburg to realize them in the vicinity of the campus.

DESY is endeavoring to take ecological aspects into account in all construction measures. At the planned hall in front of building 3, three facades will be greened; a biodiverse green roof is also planned. At the already existing building 36, DESY has built the largest facade and roof greening in Hamburg. Behind Building 1 and the XFEL, areas are currently being extensively renaturalized and converted into significantly more valuable wetland biotopes. Such places can be found in various locations on campus, e.g. also behind FLASH. Rainwater management is also being further expanded so that the water balance is brought into harmony and DESY does not have to conduct precipitation from the site into the public sewer system. For this purpose, among other things, many streets were unsealed and made permeable to water.

In summary: New developments are necessary to keep DESY sustainable in science operations. Some of these also require new buildings, which in turn leads to more buildings on the campus. From a nature conservation point of view, it makes more sense to densify the areas in the inner-city area than to go wider and thereby take up areas that have a higher nature conservation value. Nonetheless, greening measures are also taking place on the campus itself.

Back to the beginning: The wood from the oaks on the DESYUM site will remain here on the premises. DESY's carpentry workshop will use it to build benches, among other things, which will be placed here on the campus grounds.