While stadium construction work continues to advance across Qatar, preparations for the first FIFA World Cup™ in the Middle East are also progressing in a surprising area: growing trees. At the most Northern tip of Qatar, 300 transplanted trees are already in place in a project which will increase in scale to a total of 16,000 trees of approximately 60 types in the coming years. A central part of the plans will be played by the Sidra tree, which has grown in the deserts of Qatar for generations and has long provided shade and shelter to travellers.
A great effort in the design of all proposed host venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ has gone into building stadiums that will have a clear legacy use in years to come. These efforts have focused not only on the stadiums, but also on the precincts that will include a number of services and green areas for the community. This year, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has kicked off construction of a tree and landscape grass nursery that will cater to the requests of these resources coming from all 2022 FIFA World Cup™ sites.
Works have started at the 880,000 square meter site next to Doha North Sewage Treatment Works Plant where the nursery will be located. The space will be divided into different areas dedicated to planting landscape grass, trees and shrubs. The nearby water treatment plant will supply water to the facilities that will have two 18,000 square meters lagoons with enough capacity for the facility to be independent for three days.
Talking about the project, Yasser Al Mulla, SC Landscape & Sport Turf Management Senior Manager, said:
This is a very ambitious project that we see as legacy. We want to cater to all the areas surrounding all proposed 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums by harvesting the section dedicated to landscape grass, which is around 440,000 square meters, three times per year. This means we will produce 1.2 million square meters of landscape grass per year. By using water from the sewage water treatment plant we are also ensuring that the project is as sustainable as possible.’
Al Mulla explained that the nursery will supply grass, trees and shrubs to the contractors building the surrounding area for the different sites, ensuring that the communities around the stadiums have a green space for recreational activities:
A team will give advice to the contractors to ensure they are given best practice on how to handle the trees. All trees that are taken from our nursery will have a tag with all the information about their origin, name and life cycle that will be part of our database.’
The entire perimeter of the site will be planted with trees that will be elevated to serve as windbreakers. The nursery will have approximately 60 different types of trees and shrubs including Sidra, Ficus and Acacia trees coming from Qatar as well as Asia and Europe. A section of 30,000 square metres will be dedicated to growing approximately 16,000 trees and another area will be used for transplanted trees with space for approximately 3,000 trees.
Trees are very delicate and they can live many years. To protect them and make sure a transplant is successful they must be relocated in a place where they receive sunlight always from the same direction. The roots must be cut carefully in a one-metre diameter and always keeping soil in the roots. For transportation the tree has to be well wrapped and trimmed before it is replanted.’
Before the grass or the new trees are planted, 10 centimetres of soil will have to be added to make the land fertile. The trees will be grown on site for between two to five years before they are taken to the different sites.
This is one of a large number of sustainability and legacy programmes being carried out by the SC.