The international symposium « Tree avenues – from war to peace » is finished. 110 participants from 4 continents had gathered in Liffol-le-Grand (Vosges county, France). The programme was packed, as 31 speakers from 10 countries took the floor during these two days following the centenary of the Armistice. But the symposium proceeded fluidly, as it mixed presentations, feedback, a prize giving ceremony and a round table /workshop, not to mention breaks, visits, films and a concert by Angeli Primitivi.

The event was heartily appreciated for the richness of its contents as well as for the quality of the exchanges and the well-thought-out organization : “Local, national, and international focus and context, with lots of food for thought.” “I learnt an enormous amount from the presentations and over coffee and our meals together. “ “interesting and moving” ”Huge thanks to you and all the team for excellent organisation, hospitality and a most enjoyable and interesting, I hope too successful symposium.”


Encore une bonne nouvelle

Thursday, 04 October 2018

"Your symposium sounds very exciting and we would love to welcome Allées-Avenues to the Thank You movement". Bref, notre colloque semble passionnant aussi à la British Legion, de l'autre côté du Channel, qui nous propose de nous inscrire dans leur mouvement de remerciement #ThankYou100, un merci qui va à toutes les forces armées comme aux objecteurs de conscience, à ceux qui étaient au front et à tous ceux qui étaient à l'arrière. Tous ont apporté une pierre à ce monde. Et le maître-mot reste l'espoir.

Le Comité de labellisation de la Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale, présidé par l’historien Antoine Prost, a décidé d’accorder le label Centenaire à notre projet de colloque "Les allées d'arbres - de la guerre à la paix".

Ce projet fait donc partie du programme national officiel du Centenaire, répertorié sur le portail Internet centenaire.org

The registration for the symposium on November 12-13th is now open. The programme is online here or can be downloaded here. It has been awarded the European Year of Cultural Heritage label.

Speakers will talk about trees,  e.g. Glenn Williams, director of TREENET (Tree and Roadway Experimental and Educational Network), Adelaide (Australia). They have just closed their 19th annual conference. Speakers will talk about  avenues, of course: avenues from around the world, present and past avenues. Katharina Dujesiefken is « tree and tree avenues protection » coordinator at BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany). AT the beginning of November, she  will organize her 14th annual meeting in Mecklemburg-Western Pomerania, with an opening by Christian Pegel, minister of Energy, infrastructure and digital economy of the Land. Avenues will also be in the focus of the awards ceremony for the French « Avenue Prize » (which was copied by Italy).

Erick Constensou, Head of the Road environment and technical service at the Haute-Garonne county council, winner of the 2016  «Avenue Prize », and Laurent Pierron, chair of Société Française d’Arboriculture, an ISA Associate organization, will tackle issues of road  and tree management.

From war to peace

Taking place the day after the Centenary of the Armistice, the symposium will deal with World War I. Paul Gough, professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, has published numerous papers and books about  war artists, and he has studied particularly how tree avenues were perceived by soldiers. He himself is a painter, represented in the permanent collection of the Imperial War Museum in London, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and the National War Memorial in New-Zealand.

The issue of  remembrance will be dealt with by Jo-anne Morgan, Canterbury university (New-Zealand). She has produced a PhD thesis which is cited in all subsequent work about memorial avenues. Marie-Madeleine Damien, general secretary of Paysages et Sites de mémoire de la Grande Guerre, will also contribue to the topic. Her aim is that the memorial sites and the landscapes of WWI be taken up in the World Heritage list

The landscape and democracy will also be considered, with speakers like Maguelonne Déjeant-Pons, Executive secretary of the European landscape convention, Council of Europe, or Chris Rust, co-chair of STAG – Sheffield Tree Action Groups

Together with Katharina Dujesiefken, Piotr Tyszko-Chmielowiec, director of the « Roads for Nature » programme of the Polish Foundation for Sustainable Development, will show us how tree avenues can contribute to European cohesion.

Passing from war to peace :  why not proceed on tree lined roads to get to know other places and other people ? Cultural tourism  is the key. Erwin Pfeiffer, Deputy head of Tourism at ADAC, Germany’s No. 1 among the automobile clubs, ranking second worldwide, participates in many important tourism organisations, and chairs a Porsche Club in Munich. He is in a good position to present the longest touristic route comprising tree avenues, the 2900 km long Deutsche Alleenstraße in Germany.

25 speakers on the whole, from 11 countries and 3 continents will nurture knowledge, reflection and projects for tomorrow.

Registration form is here

"An awesome programme"

Saturday, 08 September 2018

Some pleasant comments about the programme of the symposium

  • - "I am impressed by the richness of the program and the quality of the speakers at this symposium! I will ensure the widest possible dissemination within the networks in which I participate. (Jean-Pierre THIBAULT, Inspector General, General Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition);
    - "I would like to express my strongest congratulations for your wonderful work in favor of the tree avenues theme! I wish you a very successful symposium on November 12 - 13, 2018; it addresses a very interesting aspect of this theme and certainly one which remains quite unknown even to specialists! (Enrico Buergi, Honorary President of the Conference of the European Landscape Convention, Council of Europe, former Head of the Landscape Division - Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape - Switzerland).

The symposium "Tree avenues, from war to peace" has just been awarded the "European Year of Cultural Heritage" label by the central services of the Ministry of Culture. It is a well appreciated recognition of the quality of the project.

The European Year of Cultural Heritage was adopted on May 17th by the European Parliament. The aim is "to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europe's cultural heritage, and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space".

Tree avenues belong to Europe's cultural heritage. They crisscross the European landscape, each with its local specificity and its own history. Exploring these avenues is within the reach of everyone, be it in daily commuting or touristic trips. The aesthetic dimension of avenues enhances people's living environment and contributes to the territory's brand, while their role for biodiversity, for carbon capture and for temperature mitigation are signposts of sustainable tourism. How better stick to the EYCH roadmap?

By unveiling the history of WWI memorial avenues, the symposium will shed light on the cultural dimension of avenues, which is the result of five centuries where ideas, texts, landscapers (and their sponsors), trees themselves circulated throughout Europe. It will give a strong signal against the temptation of isolation of our societies.

The conference will also initiate a network of avenues and of actors with the prospect of creating touristic and cultural routes. Tree avenues create physical and symbolic links. They serve the idea of cohesion and peace. This is particularly true of cross-border avenues, such as the Polish-German avenue planted in 2014, in a program called "Make Avenues, not Borders".

NGOs will largely participate in the symposium, as they are important drivers of action. The follow-up of the symposium in 2019 will be directed towards the general public.

In short: we largely meet the objectives set by the European Commission. Being awarded the label entitles us to use the logos of the Ministry of Culture and of the Commission, and to be included in the official agenda.

Allee, allé, aleja, alej, аллея: all these words are the equivalent of the French word "allée" (i.e. avenue) in German (Allee), in Swedish, Norwegian or Danish (allé), in Polish, Slovenian, Latvian or Slovakian (aleja), in Czech (alej) and in Russian (аллея).

These terms are all used to designate a street, a road, a path or a canal lined with trees.

Have a look, for example, at the most beautiful "Alleen" of Switzerland: https://www.baumpflege-dietrich.ch/bern-thun-interlaken/images/pdf/medien/fachberichte/die_schoensten_alleen_der_schweiz.pdf

Or jump over to Sweden: you can choose to become a sponsor to the "trädallé" (tree avenue) of the Göta Kanal, a 190 km long canal built in the beginning of the 19th century: https://www.gotakanal.se/sv/tradfadder/

In neighbouring Norway, the Norwegian road authority awarded Borgestad avenue (Borgestadallé) the title of the "most beautiful road of the year" in 2012 : http://www.side3.no/dette-er-norges-vakreste-vei/3346855.html


BUND Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Drogi dla Natury launched a programme called "Make avenues, not borders". In 2014, the first German-Polish avenue was planted, as a symbol of European cohesion and peace.

Trees are powerful symbols. The two Korean leaders who are planting a tree on the boarder these days, as a "symbol of peace and prosperity", did understand this.

In 1922, French Marshall Joffre tourned the world to promote peace. In the United States, he planted one of the 1000 elms of the Des Moines Memorial Drive.

ALLÉES-AVENUES a signé en début de mois, aux côtés du Cabinet All(i)ée, des Amis de la Terre, d'A.R.B.R.E.S, de l'ASPAS, du Comité des Parcs et Jardins de France, de la Fédération Française du paysage, de l'Institut Européen des Jardins & Paysages, de la LPO, de Maisons Paysannes de France, de Noé, de Patrimoine-Environnement, de Paysages de France, De Paysages de l'après-pétrole, de la Société Française d'Arboriculture, de VMF, un courrier à Nicolas Hulot.


By overcoming the boundaries of time and space, tree avenues incarnate amazingly powerful symbolic links: they can keep memories alive for generations; they can connect people and places; and they can demonstrate human solidarity, e.g. the cross-border avenue between Germany and Poland planted in 2014.

That is precisely what, one hundred years and a day after the 1918 Armistice, the international conference to be held in the repeatedly battle-torn Vosges region of France will show.

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