The day trees flew over Hönggerberg.
On Wednesday, March 2nd 2022, more than a dozen beech trees (Fagus sylvativca) were cut down on the ETH Zurich Hönggerberg campus, presumably in preparation for a large construction project occurring across the street. The trees were part of a row of even-aged beeches running the length of the campus in the middle of Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse. Along the row, the trees traversed a range of conditions, from exposed to sheltered. Many trees to the south show signs of damage from exposure to sun and wind, and several of these weakened trees were damaged in a storm last summer. The trees that were cut down last week were located in a sheltered condition and were among the healthiest of the group.
We want to commemorate the trees by sharing two videos of their removal taken by Janosch Kirchherr and shared with us by a student in one of our courses, Giacomo Rossi. We acknowledge the embodied time that these trees contained; seasons and storms represented in their form. Already a place where vegetation is sparse and controlled, the Hönggerberg campus is more bare without them. We hope to provoke a conversation about how we too often take the living organisms with whom we share our urban spaces for granted.
Trees being removed on 02.03.2022 at ETH-Hönggerberg. Source: Chair of Being Alive.