Thousands of elm trees in many of the finest parks in Paris are being felled after being hit by Dutch elm disease.
GV Tree falling with Eiffel Tower in background
SV & CU Man cutting tree down with power saw
GV Another tree felled
SV & CU Felled tree being lopped by man with axe (3 shots)
GV & CU Felled trees being sawn with power saw (3 shots)
SV & CU Burning logs
CU PAN FROM "Reservee aux Cavaliers" (reserved for horsemen) sign TO felled trees lying in road (2 shots)
Initials NG/2000 NG/2015
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Background: Thousands of elm trees in many of the finest parks in Paris are being felled after being hit by Dutch elm disease.
On Thursday (18 December) the elm trees in the Champ de Mars behind the famed Eiffel Tower which have intrigued both Parisiens and visitors for years were cut down.
The French capital has long been envied by other nations for its abundance of trees which line the boulevards and parks. Including the adjoining Boulogne and Vincennes forests, Paris has a total of 413,000 trees and taking all the green spaces into account, every Parisian has eleven square metres (yards) of greenery.
But Dutch elm disease, which has caused ravages throughout Europe in the last four years, has eaten into the roots of the elm trees and park officials have had no alternative but to cut them down. The disease will inevitably change the landscape.
An estimated 24,000 elm trees have been condemned to death and nothing short of a miracle can save them.
The felling behind the Eiffel Tower is only the beginning. Park officials are anxious to start replanting during this winter of lime, chestnut and plane trees.
The disease, which originated in Holland in 1917, has no known cure. The Across the channel in the United Kingdom, the story is the same. The stately elm tree seems doomed to eventual extinction.
Other Paris parks which will suffer are Vincennes which will lose two thousand elms, the Bois de Boulogne, fifteen hundred and the famed Place des Vosges. The 172 elms which cover the major part of the Place des Vosges -- Paris's oldest and one of the most attractive squares -- will be replaced by lime trees.