The Tree of Trees at the botanical garden of Padua

A few meters from the first oriental plane tree arrived in Italy in 1680, the Tree of Trees grew in the Arboretum of the Botanical Garden of the University of Padua.

Not enhanced by Nature but created by Michele De Lucchi who, for this installation, has obtained and put together trunks and branches of dozens of trees of different essences – beech, spruce, larch, ash, lime and hazel – from the valleys of Belluno and Trentino. Trees felled by Vaia, the terrible storm that last October has uprooted some of the most beautiful forests in Europe, distorting the landscape of 40,000 hectares of mountain territory.

Trees that, as the title of the installation says, today have “Roots in the wind, head in the earth”.

A totem tree was born from the meeting, or rather from the joint, of a totem tree that symbolically restores dignity and shape to those 14 million trees, many of which testified centuries of world history, demolished within a few hours . Its roots are suspended in the air, they seem to fly, over a mirror of water that “refers to the awkwardly overheated sea due to the effects of air pollution”, explains De Lucchi.

It is a reminder that the Paduan Botanical Gardens, the oldest in the world and a World Heritage Site, are aimed at visitors. Not by chance just as the youngest demonstrate throughout Europe in defense of their planet.

To remember that every tree is life and hope for the future.

The wood mosaic with which De Lucchi created the work clashes with the luxuriance of the Arboretum plants. The Tree of Trees causes a blow to the heart. “The same that we feel – emphasizes De Lucchi – in seeing the forests cut down and the landscape violated in our valleys. It tells the fragility of Nature, which is also the fragility of man “.

The Tree of the Trees will remain in the Botanical Garden until January 2020. And, as is natural, gradually winds, rains and sun will change its shape, lose branches and roots. Instead the symbol will remain strong.

It is at night that the Tree of the Trees seems to take force. Its withered and now barren branches, illuminated by the moon, seem to come back to life. To symbolize the light of hope and faith in Nature and in its infinite, saving power of regeneration.

But if it is right to reflect and get angry, it is not enough. What the Botanical Garden suggests to its visitors is a moral and material commitment to reconstruct what has been lost.

Those who want it will also be able to offer a single euro that will finance a specific natural regeneration project. In exchange, he will receive a fragment of one of the many trees that were and are no longer there.

La realizzazione dell’opera, in mostra all’Orto botanico di Padova a partire da oggi 15 marzo, e fino al 5 gennaio 2020, è stata possibile grazie alla collaborazione con Arte Sella e le istituzioni dei territori coinvolti che hanno contribuito a reperire il materiale arboreo.

La raccolta, coordinata dal Dipartimento TESAF dell’Università degli Studi di Padova, ha visto coinvolte la Regione del Veneto, per il tramite dell’Unità Organizzativa Forestale Veneto Est, la Provincia di Belluno in collaborazione con il Consorzio delle Quattro Regole di S. Pietro (Costalta, Presenaio, San Pietro, Valle), la Provincia Autonoma di Trento, per il tramite del Dipartimento Agricoltura, foreste e difesa del suolo in collaborazione con l’Agenzia provinciale delle foreste demaniali. / call centre tel. 049.8273939

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