Trees in the Parks of Turku
Turku is known as a green city and as the birthplace of the country’s gardening culture. The first urban trees in the country were planted in Turku, which is why it is possible to see exceptionally large and old trees, for example, by the banks of the River Aura and around the Cathedral. Even today the trees in the parks and by the streets make the city into a comfortable and humane place for its residents as well as visitors.
At present, approximately 35,000 trees grow in the street and park areas of the City of Turku. The number keeps growing as around 400–600 new trees are planted every year. The trees are a significant public asset when considering the landscape, urban ecology, and economy, and the trees are well looked after. The city invests significantly in the care of the trees, so that they would withstand the stress of urban conditions as well and as long as possible.
Many times the trees are stressed by various digging works, blows on the trunk or roots, storms, wood-decay fungi, poisons in the ground and soil condensing, and the air pollution in the city. The state of old trees in particular is being monitored so that the trees could be kept as safe and long-lived as possible. Young trees are given as good growth conditions as possible so that they would delight the citizens as long as possible.
Did you know...?
- Cork industrialist Wilen donated two cork trees to the city to be planted near the statue of Per Brahe in 1896. One of the two trees still grows in Brahenpuisto.
- In 1832 Mrs. Wahlgren planted five common lime trees and four wych elms next to Cathedral Bridge on the place now known as Vähätori. Pharmacist Julin planted elm trees and lime trees next to Aura Bridge on the western side of the River Aura. Most of these trees are still growing.
- The first trees of Brahenpuisto, Porthaninpuisto, and Tuomiokirkonpuisto we planted between 1833 and 1835. Many of these trees are still growing in these parks.
- Common lime trees brought from Germany were planted on both sides of the River Aura between Cathedral Bridge and Aura Bridge in 1842. The trees should have been planted a year earlier, but the ship that was carrying the trees was shipwrecked.
- At the end of Aurakatu near the Turku Art Museum are lime trees that are cut into regular shapes. The trees were planted in 1911. The trees have been cut into various shapes during the decades.
- The largest tree in Turku, a ‘tsar poplar’ (Populus nigra ‘Petrowskiana’), grows in Tuomaanpuisto. The tree is over 30 metres high and its trunk is 670 cm round. The tree was probably planted at the end of the 19th century.
- The lime trees at Linnankatu were first planted in 1637. It was the first long tree avenue in Finland at the time. The lime trees of the present day avenue were planted into three rows between 1900 and 1901. That was the fourth time the tree avenue was renewed. The third row was removed in 1935 because it was on the way of the new tramline.