Complaints to Quercus about the felling of trees generated controversy among the populations and local authorities of Portalegre.
In a statement of the environmental association, Quercus clarifies that "was alerted to a tree cut that was taking place on National Highway 246-1, near the town of Portagem, municipality of Marvão, district of Portalegre, more specifically a place known Like "Tunnel of the trees" or "Alameda of the Freixos". Having moved to the site, they found that although the cutting work had been interrupted due to the protests of the popular and the Marvão Autarchy, the public company "Infraestruturas de Portugal" had already cut seven adult narrow-leaf ash trees (Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl) with the justification that would be in poor state of conservation. They also verified that it was the company's initial intention to cut some more specimens of this species, previously flagged.
The place where this slaughter took place is integrated in the Natural Park of the Serra de São Mamede and due to its landscape singularity, it is an authentic card of visit of the region, constituting like a natural and cultural patrimony that has been conserved by the populations along the years. The 300 ornamental centenarians have been classified as trees of public interest, because of their size and set, which according to the official characterization form, forms a "magnificent alley of tall and narrow-leaf ash".
In light of what happened to the environmental association, states that "we are in the presence of operations of doubtful legality and opportunity, Quercus immediately requested clarification from Infraestruturas de Portugal, in view of the clearance of responsibilities resulting from this tree harvesting. As it was possible to check on the spot some of the trees felled and others marked for slaughter showed no signs of poor conservation or danger to public safety, Quercus requires that the technical opinions which led to the intervention be made public. Since, unfortunately, there are recurring situations in which trees along public roads are slaughtered without justification or according to very dubious criteria, Quercus is demanding from the Government, and especially the Ministry of Planning and Infrastructures, that the company "Infraestruturas de Portugal" to ensure that healthy trees are not slaughtered without valid reasons and without considering other more appropriate alternatives. "
Below is a link with a description of the importance of these trees to the Nature Conservantion.