Tree avenues


The French term ‘allée’ is used in many parts of Europe when referring to tree-lined ‘ways of passage’ in parks and gardens, in towns or in the country. In the context of landscapes, ‘avenue’ has the same meaning in English. ‘Avenues’ (or ‘tree avenues’) are thus ‘ways of passage’—paths, streets, and roads, but also canals—lined with rows of regularly spaced trees.

Avenues (in this sense) constitute an important cultural, natural, and landscape heritage in France, Europe, and beyond.

To know more about tree avenues, go to the "Quiz" and to the "Tree avenues and road safety" pages.

Our objectives


To foster knowledge about  the cultural, natural, and landscape heritage that avenues represent  Through information and education, to raise the awareness of the general public and professionals about the values of avenues  To showcase the heritage of tree avenues and associated best practice  To promote the economic activities and jobs avenues create  To protect and renew existing avenues, and to develop new ones  To support initiatives and protagonists helping to preserve tree avenues

Who are we?


We are avenue lovers, determined to showcase this valuable heritage and convinced it is an asset for all of us. The board is made up of: Eric Mutschler, chair; Isabelle Kauffmann, secretary; Pierre Courbet, treasurer; Pierre Collin ; Qing Liu ; and Danièle Saget. Chantal Pradines, expert on avenues in France and in Europe, is executive director.


The international symposium "The essential beauty of tree avenues" is over. It ended with the Carcassonne declaration about tree avenues and road safety.

The presentations (slides and videos) are available online here.

They supported us in 2023:

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Do you want to know more about tree avenues? Here's a short list of useful books and articles:

Arnika (ed.) : Silniční stromořadí v české krajině. Koncepce jejich zachování, obnovy a péče o ně, 2010 (in Czech)

Brückmann, K. (ed.) : Avenues in Europe. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. 2015 74 p.

Bruun, M. : Alléer langs vei og gate. Historisk utvikling av i privateide anlegg og langs offentlig vei og gate. Statens vegvesen, 2012 (in Norwegian)

Flonneau, M. : Letter from French President Georges Pompidou to his Prime Minister, Jacques Chaban-Delmas. Routes-Roads n°348, 2010, p.93

Hrušková, M., Holečková, M., Větvička, V. et al. : Aleje. Krása ohroženého světa. Mladá fronta, 2012 (in Czech)

Johnston, M.: Street Trees in Britain - A history. Windgather Press, Oxbow books, 2017

Klemensová, M. (ed) : Aleje Moravskoslezského kraje - koncepce jejich zachování, obnovy a péče o ně. Arnika, 2015 (in Czech)

Lehmann, I., Rohde, M. (ed.) : Alleen in Deutschland. Bedeutung, Pflege, Entwicklung. Edition Leipzig, Seemann Henschel GmbH & Co KG, 2006 (in German)

Olsson, P., Jakobsson, Å. : Alléhandboken, Regionmuseet Kristianstad, 2005 (in Swedish)

Pradines, Ch. : Road infrastructures: tree avenues in the landscape in Landscape facets. Reflections and proposals for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention. Editions du Conseil de l'Europe, 2012

Pradines, Ch. : Des continuités écologiques et identitaires : les "allées" d'arbres. Colloque ITTECOP (Infrastructures de Transports Terrestres, Ecosystèmes et Paysages), MEDDE, Sophia-Antipolis, 2013 (in French)

Pradines, Ch. : Les arbres de bord de route et la sécurité routière. Congrès Belge de la Route, 2013 (in French)

Pradines, Ch. : La route bordée d’arbres - entrée et sortie de la Grande Guerre. Rétro Tourisme - Automobilisme, Patrimoine & Transports, n° 2, 2014, p. 60-61 (in French)

Pradines, Ch. : Les allées d’arbres, voies royales pour la biodiversité. La Revue Durable, n° 52, 2014, p. 58-61 (in French)

Pradines, Ch. : Des allées dans le jardin Europe : les routes bordées d’arbres. Sites & Monuments, n° 222, 2015, p. 33-41(in French)

Pradines, Ch. : L'allée d'arbres : route touristique par excellence ? Rétro Tourisme - Automobilisme, Patrimoine & Transports, n° 3, 2015, p. 44-47 (in French)

Pradines, Ch. : Nouvelle protection française des allées d’arbres. Revue Générale des Routes et de l'Aménagement, RGRA n° 948, 2017, p. 24-29 (in French)

Pradines, Ch. : Forgiving roads: regulations threatening tree lined routes in Tree-lined Routes and the Linear Forest. A new vision of connected landscapes. Séminaire Treework Environmental Practice, 2015

Pradines, Ch. : La protection des alignements d'arbres qui bordent les voies de communication.L'article L350-3 du Code de l'environnement. 34ème ArboRencontre de Seine-et Marne, 2019 vignette PPT 1cm vignette film 1cm8490 (in French)

Pradines, Ch. : Legal Avenue Protection in France. Konference v Liberci - Systematická ochrana a obnova, 2019 vignette PPT 1cm vignette film 1cm8490 (in English)

Pradines, Ch.: Comprendre les allées, un impératif pour les gérer. in L'arbre urbain. État des connaissances, techniques de choix, de mise en oeuvre et de gestion. Actes du colloque international Histoire d’arbres, Mons, 2019, p. 13-18 vignette film 1cm8490 (in French)

Pradines, Ch.: Allées d’arbres en Europe et espèces des Listes rouges – De la connaissance à l’action. VertigO - la revue électronique en sciences de l'environnement [Online], Débats et Perspectives, 2020, (in French)

Pradines, Ch., Marmier, F. : Infrastructures. Alignements d'arbres et sécurité routière, Revue Générale des Routes et de l'Aménagement, RGRA n° 891, 2011, p. 55-63 (in French)

Rullmann, Ch., Pfeiffer, E. (ed.) : Ein Reiseführer für die Deutsche Alleenstraße, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutsche Alleenstraße e.V., ADAC, SDW, 2012 (in German)

Tartaro, P., Kunz. S.: Etat des lieux et importance des allées et des paysages d’allées en Suisse, Fondation suisse pour la protection et l’aménagement du paysage, 2008 (in French)

Vanblaere, S. (ed.) : Handleiding voor het beheer van historische dreven en wegbeplantingenAgentschap Onroerend Erfgoed, 2017 (in Flemish)

Worobiec, K.A., Lizewska, I. (ed.) : Aleje przydrozne. Historia, znaczenie, zagrozenie, ochrona. Stowarzyszenie WK Borussia, 2009 (in Polish)




There is a need to plant and replant avenues. But how?

All over the world, "forgiving road side" road-safety policies are a major obstacle to the preservation and planting of roadside trees. In practice, planting further away from the edge of the road is rarely feasible. It is also inconsistent with the conventional geometric characteristics of tree avenues, which are a stong ingredient of their cultural nature and of their aesthetics.

But does road safety really depend on there being no trees close to the road? Is the guarantee of physical integrity enough to make life worth living? Does not physiological existence, our physical health, our mental wellbeing, and our social wellbeing also depend on trees? Is beauty not also as indispensable a factor for living or rebuilding oneself, for putting some magic into the world and drawing society into crucial projects?


Shifting the paradigm

In 1970, French President Georges Pompidou made a clear statement: “Safeguarding the trees planted along our roads (…) is essential for the beauty of our country, to protect nature, and to safeguard a truly human environment” and “whatever the scale of road-safety problems, they are no justification for disfiguring the [country’s] landscape

Fifty years later, it is now vital to preserve and multiply tree avenues, as a form of international cultural heritage and as vital corridors in the light of global warming and biodiversity loss?

The need for beauty and tree avenues must be concretely reflected in the road safety and the development policies.

Discover our SPEAKERS        Discover their PRESENTATIONS     Discover the  CARCASSONNE DECLARATION               


The symposium was conducted in both French and English, with simultaneous translation by an interpreting team.


The symposium took place in Carcassonne (France) from 19  to 21 November 2023.

The symposia held by ALLÉES-AVENUES /allées d'avenir/ are intended to increase knowledge about the special cultural and natural-heritage aspects of tree avenues.

This involves unveiling facets of avenues that are not studied to any great extent or brought to the fore, and to provide the public with new knowledge and resources for better preservation and appreciation of avenues.

The symposia address both professionals (people working with trees, in landscaping, gardening, roads, the environment, etc.) and an enlightened public (private landowners, lovers of avenues, persons involved in tourism, in cultural activities, other engaged individuals). By bringing professionals and non-professionals together, the symposiums open the way for joint development of preservation initiatives.

Held every three years, they are major events in terms of their international participation, their scientific character, the originality of the issues addressed, and their outreach beyond professional circles.

The international symposium of 2018 brought together 110 participants (from 12 countries on 4 continents) who learned about the memorial avenues that, inspired by France’s tree-lined roads, are a feature of many communities in the English-speaking world, in particular. It was the seed from which grew an exhibition. And it has produced a comic album to be published in 2024.

The international symposium of 2023 (11 countries represented) was inspired by French President Georges Pompidou’s exhortation of 1970: “Safeguarding the trees planted along our roads (…) is essential for the beauty of our country, to protect nature, and to safeguard a truly human environment”. The symposium took place in Carcassonne (France).




"Tree avenues – from war to peace": International symposium, 12 & 13 November 2018

3 million trees: this is approximately the number of trees which lined the French roads when the 1st World war started. These avenues, standing like soldiers on parade, channeled fresh troops towards the front lines. As the distance to the front diminished, so did the avenues, increasingly shattered and gap-toothed, foretell the grizzly horrors that lay ahead. Avenues were also readily identifiable targets. Where they survived they exhaled hope and were a reminder of the existence of order before the chaos.

These avenues made a strong impression particularly on soldiers of the British Commonwealth. They were frequently described by them in their letters and drawings, and later on in their stories. In 1915, they inspired a British officer, Second Lieutenant Alexander Douglas Gillespie, to wish for the creation of “one long avenue (...) from the Vosges to the sea”. The French parliamentarian Lemire proposed the same concept in 1919.

During and after the war, avenues of honour were planted in Australia: Every tree was dedicated to a soldier, with a plate bearing his name and details. New-Zealand, Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Italy followed. Germany planted also a few memorial avenues of the kind.

This 1st symposium organized by ALLÉES-AVENUES /avenues of the future/ was labelled "European Year of Cultural Heritage" and "Mission Centenaire", and joined the "Thank You Movement" from the British Royal Legion. 110 participants from 4 continents gathered to listen to high-profile professionals and engaged citizens who presented the history of these avenues, the issues of preservation and the dynamics at work, with communities and public authorities as main actors.

The final round table concentrated on the "Avenues - Horizon 2030" initiative. The participants listed 58 existing  or possible actions. All related to 3 key-words : link - knowledge - events.

You will find all the presentations (summaries, powerpoints and videos) here and some more information about "Avenues - Horizon 2030" here.

The symposium could be organized thanks to our sponsors  :


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Did you know that the word ‘avenue’ (or ‘tree avenue’) refers to tree-lined ‘ways of passage’—paths, streets, roads, or canals?

Did you know that ‘avenue’ is the English equivalent of the French term ‘allée’, used in many parts of Europe when referring to tree-lined ‘ways of passage’ in parks and gardens, in towns or in the country?

Did you know that using ‘avenue’ in this sense is one of the recommendations for helping to preserve this natural and cultural heritage that are listed in the white paper ‘Road infrastructures: tree avenues in the landscape’ published by the Council of Europe in Landscape facets. Reflections and proposals for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention’?  

Did you know that the use of a single term for all these different alignments, whatever their context, shows how strongly they are all related to each other?

Did you know that both the term ‘avenue and the term ‘allée’ are connected to ‘French gardens’? The prevalence of the term ‘allée’ throughout continental Europe indicates the influence of 17th-century French garden designers, followed by that of graduates of the Ponts et Chaussées engineering school in the 18th century, then in the 19th century, the application of Napoleonic regulations.

Did you know that cultural exchanges continued into the 20th century, particularly through the planting of memorial avenues in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy to commemorate the First World War?

Did you know that tree avenues do more than just stamp a strong mark on the landscape, but are also a response to the issues of our time? Shade,temperature mitigation, capture of dust and pollutants, carbon sequestration, special biotopes and ecological corridors, etc.: these are some of the advantages that studies have identified, and they were acknowledged in the Infra Eco Network Europe declaration of Lyons in 2016.

Did you know that trees play a positive role in road safety and that there is no correlation between the risk of being killed or injured on roads in a given area and the wealth of roadside alignments of trees in that area? On the contrary, in fact, studies have shown the positive role of tree avenues with respect to road safety.

Did you know that people the world over are extremely fond of this heritage? This is regularly shown by surveys and by the commitment of associations of all kinds.

Did you know that after a strong decline in avenue assets, enthusiasm for avenues has been growing in many parts of Europe for more than twenty years and that October 20 is European Avenue Day?

Did you know that many regions and countries are engaged in a movement for promoting avenue heritage? In France, the Société pour la Protection des Paysages et de l’Esthétique de la France has been awarding its ‘Avenue Prize’ since 2015.

Did you know that tree avenues are protected by law in many countries and regions, e.g. in Sweden, Luxemburg, Wallonia, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern? They have been protected in France since 2016 (article L350-3 of the Code de l’environnement) because of their triple interest—cultural, role in biodiversity, and other rewarding features (landscape, environment).