Rome to plant 2,500 new trees this year

City will also remove stumps and dead trees around Rome as part of a €1.4 million planting project.

Rome is to plant more than 2,500 new trees throughout the city by the end of this year, the mayor Virginia Raggi has announced.

The project, costing €1.4 million, began on 18 March and in addition to planting new trees will see the removal of stumps and the replacement of trees that have failed to take root over the last year.

The planting scheme will focus on parks, villas, gardens and tree-lined roads, with the most suitable trees selected based on the site.

Raggi, who is seeking re-election later this year, said the city "will plant a record number of trees within a few months" thanks to the project which will also "reduce air pollution."

The mayor said the trees will be planted in "those spaces that have remained empty for decades, which will finally be filled and will bring greenery back to many streets of the capital."

The city's councillor for green policies, Laura Fiorini, underlined the administration's environmentally-friendly credentials and said that 2,500 trees would absorb "more than six tons of carbon dioxide a year."

News of the tree planting project comes amid increasing concern for the city's pine trees which are under threat from the pine tortoise scale insect, a deadly parasite that is decimating the pine population in south-central Italy.

The capital recently undertook trials to save 200 umbrella pines around the Circus Maximus as private firms carry out numerous interventions on trees around the city, notably in the Giardino degli Aranci.