Walking down a busy street the other weekend on a family ice cream run, I saw a line of street trees that seemed to be in jail. Here’s one of them:
What was going on here, I’m not quite sure, but each tree was surrounded by flimsy plastic fencing and had a sign strapping-taped to its trunk. I was worried at first that they were condemnation notices, but then I took a closer look:
The City of Seattle is finally getting serious (I hope) about the decreasing canopy in town. The recent explosion in development here recently probably made this inevitable, but we’re not planting trees fast enough to keep up with the losses and the street trees that are planted often are poorly cared for and don’t make it to maturity. So, I guess the big ones are going to have to be protected by threatening a big hit to construction companies’ pockets (“treble” the sum of $7,800, in this case, is nothing to sneeze at!). But how do you determine the worth of a tree?
I’m sure they have their formulas – height, girth, estimated age, rarity of species, etc but what about the emotional value of a tree? Is it one that you’ve passed every day for years, or that you grew up climbing, or whose flowering branches you picnicked under? City street trees might not be likely to have so many associations of this kind, but I’m glad someone’s finally sticking up for them.
How doyou determine the worth of a tree?