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The removal of the majestic buoy evokes strong feelings: “Those sawn trees really hurt the eye and the heart” (Wommelgem)

The removal of the majestic buoy evokes strong feelings: “Those sawn trees really hurt the eye and the heart” (Wommelgem)

Wommelgem / Oelegem

The sights happening this week along the Oelegemsteenweg in Wommelgem are not for the sensitive nature lovers. The wood chipper quickly disposes of 154 silver poplar trees that together form a beautiful French-like canal. Groen is asking City Council members to keep their promise to rebuild paved roads and plant new trees.

Jan Uman

Flat on the stomach for King Auto. Art photographer Nick Hans of Oleghem’s reaction speaks volumes and is far from alone in his judgment. This was the first time I passed by on my way home after the hustle and bustle of the Antwerp ring and E313. I was in a good mood right away and felt the pressure off of me. “This is clear and frank,” another resident of the Ranst district said in mourning.


David Bergen, a highly regarded afforestation expert from Schelle, won the contract from Wommelgem Municipality, but left chopping or, better yet, white ambush pulling to fellow Schelle specialist Den Houthakker. It will be sweet for the rest of the week. Bergen is not insensitive to destroying trees and realizes that they are certainly not fatal diseases.

“But there is a legally valid logging permit and that means the trees are already dead for us,” Bergen says calmly. A tree expert knows the tree very well. As a student – on his way to Antwerp by bike – he’s been passing by every day for thirty years. “I admired these ‘white-eyed trees’ very much, and the powerful tree expert also became a little sad.

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“The permit was issued after much deliberation. I can follow Wommelgem municipality somewhere. Tension tests on silver poplars indicated that leaving them alone was not without risk. A drastic pruning would have been done every few years, but this is a costly solution given Create the declared course path”.

The high stems and broad crowns are completely milled on site to the pulp: the biomass with which power will be generated. Bergen oversees the work and has, among other things, checked whether there are no longer any bird or bat nests in the canopies. “I also suppose that Wommelgem municipality will engage me in the follow-up: how to once again give a beautiful green rustic look,” said the expert from Schilde.

The Oelegemsteenweg is very tall. Dean Howthakker has his job with her. © BFM

Make promises

The latter is now also the primary concern of Groen in Wommelgem. Eva Pierets, Jan Herthogs and Koen Roskams demand that Mayor Frank Jess (N-VA) and Alderman Alex Helsen (N-VA) keep their promise to rebuild Oelegemsteenweg. “We will remind the city council members and the entire city council of their promise in due course,” Roskams said.

As far as Groen Wommelgem is concerned, Oelegemsteenweg should be dealt with as soon as possible. Jan Herthogs: “The course path is now nothing more or less than a dead strip. The road surface is worn out and the speed is very high. The comfort and safety of all road users can only be improved with a comprehensive approach.”

“We don’t just mourn over the trees,” says Eva Peretz. We also denounce the City Council’s lack of vision and pioneering spirit. Groen Wommelgem finds it incomprehensible that all Oelegemsteenweg’s budgets have been changed, while it was known that interventions would be necessary to keep the road safe and healthy. This board chooses the easiest and cheapest solution: cut everything out.” (yes)

Parody of Groen Wommelgem on the official municipal communication.

Parody of Groen Wommelgem on the official municipal communication. © RR

The fate of the silver poplars

Fate of ‘unstable’ silver poplar bushes: sawn into large pieces awaiting further biomass reduction. © BFM