Project structure :
possibilities and methods of
renewal of historicallees with a special stress on the question of
authenticity, the ethical commitment and preservation oftheiraesthetic values.
Methods for renewal of
?Total replacement (change of tree genus ?
generally owing to environmental necessities)
?Authentic renewal with fullreplantation, original species and planting space system
?Authentic renewal with a step by step
replacement, either discrete or sectional
?Authentic, geneticallyidentical renewal with vegetative propagation
of the original tree stock ? preservation of historic gene heritage
In the case of
solitary trees or groups of trees, individual replacement in a historic garden
or landscape does not usually take place all at once, thus the garden?s
originally planned spatial forms and crown level can be almost steadily
preserved. The situation is very different withallees
and avenues owing to their architectural linearity. The homogeneous appearance
and rhythm ofallees is an essential
requirement even in landscape gardens. The renewal and the most suitable method
have to be planned thoroughly taking the landscape, environmental, ecological,
economical, cultural, aesthetic and also ethical aspects into consideration. The
mode of renewal may be supplemental, partial, or comprehensive, or may take the
form of total reformation that involves a change of tree species. The question
of authenticity should play an important role in case of historicallees of high value.
Fullrenewalinonestep:Herrenhausen,originatedin 1726, a 2kmslong2*2allees of limetree,renewedin 1972-74with 1300trees.
Authenticfullrenewalwiththepreservation oftheoriginalgene bank
The change of
environmental conditions in the urban landscape generally is followed by a
dramatic decay in the health conditions of urban vegetation. The total
replacement of an urban avenue likeAndrássy
avenue was planned due to changes and the deterioration of the urban
environment. It was no longer possible to preserve the original species, the
plane trees that used to be well adaptable in the 19th century. The concept of
a grandiose avenue leading from the densely built-up city of Pest to the first
urban park, the City grove, was a much-beloved idea of the city?s urban
development council from the 1830s, but it was only possible to construct it
after the Compromise of 1867 that resulted in Hungary becoming the second
ruling power of the Habsburg Empire. The 2 km long avenue was built and planted
in the 1870?s. The original layout of the avenue took into consideration the
environmental needs of the trees, both in the width of its cross sections, and
in its natural, wood block pavement ? which was appropriate for horseback
riding and coaches as well.
The reality of
planting plane trees could only be questioned in the case of the inner section,
where the heights of the buildings restricted the amount of natural light.
Therefore the growth and the condition of the plane trees seemed somewhat
problematic. When the avenue had to be replanted after the I. World War, the
decision was to change the street trees of the avenue to hackberry trees.
The Andrássy avenue used to be an
important and beloved urban development. When the construction of the
Millennium tube was started in the 1890?s for the Millennium Exhibition in
1896, the protection of trees was thoroughly planned for, and at least 4 meters
were left intact along the rows. Unfortunately the avenue had to be replanted
after the I. World War, as the original tree stock had to be utilised by the
residents as timber for heating.
The new plantation
was the same plane tree in the second and third section, but of course the
third section with its brightness and spaciousness offered much more better
living conditions for the plane trees.
present state of the inner section proved the necessity of the change from plane tree to hackberry. In
the meantime theAndrássy avenue was listed as
a UNESCO World Heritage site owing to its grandiose architectural and
The original wooden
brick pavement of thecoachway and the riding way
was changed in the 1930s. The loss of natural rain water retention resulted in
the impairment of the plane trees. From the 1960s the increase in urban traffic caused serious air and soil
pollution, and the condition of the plantation declined quickly. The renewal
became a necessity by the 1990s, but the method was very much debated. At last
a mixedreplantation was decided, where
the middle section was totally renewed with common ash trees.
While the third
section kept its original tree canopy, at least for one more decade. The
unhealthy, badly-formed plane trees have been replaced. Unfortunately the
riding and pathways were not renewed, even the asphalt pavement was not
changed. The totalreplantation and the renewal of
the third section came only in 2006, when both the green lane and the pavement
of the pathway were changed, though the asphalt cover of the riding way still
the new plantation
and new tree stock have an absolutely different crown form and character, far
from compatible to the grandiose
streetscape and the scale of the avenue. But at the same time, the
common ash tree is better able to tolerate the typical urban environmental
burdens such as the urban heat island, the loss of rainwater and humidity and
contamination of air and soil pollutants.
Total renewal may
also be justified when a strong linear element of a former Baroque garden
structure is to be reconstructed, making essential the preservation of the
uniform appearance. In the Upper Garden of the Royal Palace ofGödöll?, the total renewal
of the horse chestnut avenue that dated back to the Baroque age took place as
part of the general renewal of the garden in 2009-2010. The original common
horse chestnut (Aesculushippocastanum) was replaced by the red horse chestnut (Aesculus xcarnea), a hybrid that is
more resistant to the horse chestnut leaf miner -- an insect that has caused considerable harm
to the trees of Hungary.
300-year-long history of theGödöll? gardens, while they
have been reconstructed and renewed several times, the conscious additive and
integrative development principles always played the leading role. This is why several
elements of the Baroque epoch were fitted into the new garden structure so as
to appear as an organic whole. In the case of the chestnutallee, an attractive mixed
plantation of deciduous and evergreen trees dissolved the strong, direct
linearity of theallee.
While developing the
renewal plan by the Department of Garden and Open Space Design the above
mentioned additive, integrating philosophy characteristic of the garden?s
history was taken into account. The chestnutallee
was in such a bad condition that the most thorough survey of the trees
confirmed the initial impressions.
Only the third of the
whole tree collection could have been retained, but even there were many leaks
in theallee. Thereplantation had to be organised
in the frame of the renewal of the whole garden.
In spite of the fact
that replanting the original horse chestnut species was not a viable solution,
the new trees proved to be appropriate both in character and growing strength.
Though it was a totalreplantation, the significant
similarity of the two specimens resulted a great appearance and an authentic
landscape gardening anddendrological treasures, the
2.3-kilometre-long avenue of linden trees inNagycenk
is one of the most remarkable. The double avenue of trees, dating back almost
two and a half centuries and forming an imposing visual axis of the formerSzéchenyi estate, is of both
historical and cultural importance and represents a unique landscape creation.
?The beautiful castle
and the garden with the orangery belong to CountSzéchenyi. There is a wonderful alley consisting of around 600
linden trees leading from the garden up to a small hill with a grove in a five
quarter hour?s distance.? (Rotenstein, 1763)
landscaping and aesthetic distinction is based on its monumentality, as well as
on the architectural and landscaping harmony between the castle and the castle
gardens and, last but not least, on the captivating beauty of the ancient trees
that make up the avenue. The scientific significance of the avenue lies in the
invaluable research value of the 250-year-old trees that have remained in the
alley as living gene-bank reserves. Together with the historic palace, the
avenue (at least its first section) is a protected site and was included on the
World Heritage List in 2001.
The importance of the
Széchenyi family is
outstanding in the Hungarian history and culture, their name represents a hallmark of the cultural,
scientific, social and economical/industrial programs and development of late
18th, early 19th century. The fact that the alley was planted, maintained, used
and loved by theSzéchenyi family creates an
ethical engagement for the professionals and all the interested officials
engaged in the preservation and renewal process to work out a special method
for the preservation of all sort of values represented by and in the alley.
The Department of
Garden and Open Space Design ran a workshop this spring to make a detailed
survey of the alley. A detailed survey and a complete digital database have
been worked out. Around 42% of the tree stock has been defined as vital, dating
from the original plantation. That means that we have 327 very old trees from
the early garden period, which were contemporaneous with theSzéchenyi family. These trees
have a special value in the renewal concept, as they can serve as a gene bank
for the propagation and the authenticreplantation. At the same time theseSzéchenyi trees can be selected as special assortments.
A total of around 60%
of the present tree substance comes either from the original plantation or from
a very earlyreplantation. This data proves
the good quality and vitality of these linden trees even if their condition is
not very good, which is not surprising
given their age and the gradual environmental and land use changes that happened
in the past 250 hundred years.
The philosophy of the
renewal program is the preservation of the Genius Loci, that is the spiritual
and intellectual heritage of theSzéchenyis?, who lived there, who used to ride and walk along it,
who enjoyed the magnificence of nature and who maintained it for hundreds of
years. Therefore the nursery substance for thereplantation should be made out of the vegetative propagated
posteriors of the still living original veteran trees. Thereplantation should be planned
over the long term, and all sections should be planted with the same old
nursery substance so as to keep on the uniformity in the alley along the whole replantation period.
The preservation of
the genius loci and the original gene substance makes this alley renewal method
a unique one not only in Hungary. The propagation of the strong individual
trees is an interesting experiment from adendrological point of view, and also offers the possibility to
select a new specimen. It is more than obvious that this expensive and
time-dependent way of alley renewal can be offered only for very specific and
valuable alleys. This strictly authentic preservation of the historical and
cultural value manifested in the alleys is an idea that may be worthy of the
memory of the original owners, the countSzéchenyis, this outstanding noble family in the Hungarian
legacy is our ethical duty.
Blenheim. Landscape for a
Palace. Edited: James Bond, Kate Tiller. Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd. Oxford
University Department for External Studies 1987
Klaus-Henning, von.: Alleen ? Erhaltung und Pflege aus der Sicht der
Denkmalpflege. Die Gartenkunst, 18. 2. 2006. p.303-310.
Lehmann, Ingo,Rohde, Michael (Herausgeber): Alleen in Deutschland: Bedeutung, Pflege und