Friday, July 30, 2010

X Marks the Spot

I live in the city – in one of those beautiful old neighborhoods with tree lined streets. The trees are a treasure, providing shade for both the streets and the homes and making it cooler on the hot summer days. In the fall, the Maples put on a spectacular show of yellows, oranges, and reds. We also have a few old Elms – survivors of Dutch Elm disease. And, on the next block, neighbors (and the DNR) are watching the Ash trees for signs of Emerald Ash Borer. A few blocks away, Crabapple trees line an entire block, making for an intoxicating Spring walk.

I’m always sad when I see a blaze orange X on a tree, because unlike the legendary pirate maps where X marks the spot for buried treasure, these Xes mean the treasured tree is marked for removal. Last year, a neighbor lost three mature Oaks. Part of one came down in a Spring storm. Apparently, they all were unsafe and needed to be removed. Today, I saw an X on both an Oak and an Ash. They’ll be replaced, but it will be another generation who will get to enjoy their shade.

Some neighbors have discussed the folly of “monoculture” trees. If one tree becomes diseased, it will most likely spread to other trees of the same kind, ultimately decimating the tree population. I guess I can see both sides of this one. On one hand, using one species creates a uniform look and feel. On the other, diversity prevents being wiped out – in investing and in landscaping.

What’s happening with trees where you live?

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