Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Notre Dame’s spire will need over 1,000 oak trees to rebuild

NOTRE DAME

Alain JOCARD | AFP

J-P Mauro - published on 02/18/21

The trees will be sourced from France's national parks and private donors.

The long road to Notre Dame de Paris’ restoration is stretching into 2021. It hasn’t been quite two years since the April 2019 fire that devastated the famed Catholic landmark, and a lot has been done. Much of the toxic lead has been cleaned up and the organ was removed to be cleaned.Now, the arduous task of rebuilding the iconic wooden spire is on deck, and in order to do it France will tap its forests. 

In 2019 there was some discussion of reconstructing the spire with modern architectural elements. President Macron, however, ultimately decided that it was to be restored to its original state. In order to do this the crew will need very specific materials. The Guardian reports that the project will require up to 1,000 of France’s trees. It went on to explain the specifications:

The trees must be straight, 50-90cm (20-36in) in diameter and between 8 and 14 metres tall. They must be chopped down by the end of March before the sap rises, otherwise the wood will be too humid. Before being cut into beams, the trunks will be allowed to dry for up to 18 months.

A race against time

The time to dry is key, as the team wants to start rebuilding the spire in 2022. This would mean they need the trees to be cut and drying before June. Another hurdle to overcome is the size, as trees of the specified diameter would be between about 150-200 years old. French officials are already searching their national forests, some of which were originally planted by kings for ship building.

National Post reports that these supplies are to be provided in part by private forest owners. One owner, who remained nameless, said that it would be a “matter of pride” to know that his wood helped rebuild Notre Dame. The owner went on to note that the use of the trees would demonstrate the value of his forest.

The selection process is still underway and is expected to be finished before spring is in full swing. Experts expect to procure 2,000 cubic meters of wood from up to 1,500 trees before the project is complete. While a great many trees are to be removed from French forests, plans are being made to replace them. In an interview with the French news outlet Le Parisien, Dominique de Villebonne, the deputy director of the National Forests Office, said:

“At the same time as leaving other trees to stand for a long time, we are also planting new ones so future generations can create their own exceptional works.”

Read more at the Guardian.


NOTRE DAME CONSTRUCTION

Read more:
Notre Dame custodians consider alterations to the interior

Tags:
Notre Dame
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
ARGENTINE CHILDREN
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
3
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
4
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
5
PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
6
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
7
CHAPEL OUR LADY MIRACULOUS MEDAL
Zelda Caldwell
A pilgrimage to Paris’ Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.