I went to the tree board meeting last evening. There were about 15 people that showed up, mostly those against the tree board removing larger trees (that could use a little TLC) to replace them with Pyrus calleryana, ‘Chanticleer’ pear trees, because those were the “tree of the year”. Oh boy, what will next year’s tree be? At this point, the trees mentioned for removal were spared, put on the list to prune, except for one that is already dead. No one seems to know when that will happen, especially since they are spending so much time and money putting in petunias. I gave my 2 cents worth saying one of the first things I noticed when I came here was that there weren’t many old trees. You know, sycamores, oaks, big maples, etc. It does take a while to grow them, so planning to take out existing trees to put in pear trees is a bit absurd. They already have planted a bunch of the pears as is. Looks like lollipop lane around here.
I once lived in a neighborhood once where everyone had Bradford pears in their front yard. How boring. I planted maples, willows, pines, hemlocks, a Dawn redwood, redbuds, beech, birch, ginko, sweet gum, different kinds of trees. In the yard I have now I have planted cedar and birch, redbud and maples, crabapple and dogwood, mimosa and locusts, mostly indigenous trees. I am not done yet either. I am not sure I qualify as a tree-hugger yet, but am definitely in their corner.
More than one person stood to say that pear trees are a horrible choice for landscaping main street, and to have one kind only is foolish, as a blight could take everything out at once. Of course they said the tree they chose has good resistance to pollution and fireblight, but a quick check on the internet brought up a page that said, “‘Chanticleer is more susceptible to fire blight than ‘Bradford.” Hmmm, and we don’t want those either, so maybe diversity would be better than a bunch of look alike trees that only last 25-30 years. Serious disease could take out a monoculture. Remember Dutch Elm trees?
The landscaping “plan” seems ill thought. Diversity and communication with shop owners’ input would be a good place to start but no, they probably don’t want anyone else’s opinion. Seems so and so has the money to do this and on drives the bandwagon. It’s nice to have a beautification project and all, but more thought would have been nice. How about planting something for the long-term, for another generation’s future, without the cookie-cutter effect?
Some hardy perennials would have been nice, and I can only imagine if I had brought up xeriscaping, using some of the kinds of plants I have in my yard, like hardy wildflowers, or sedum, lamb’s ear, liriope or ornamental grasses; plants that don’t need much water in the middle of a concrete acre. I probably would have been run out of town. No, you can’t make everyone happy. But it takes a generation to grow a decent tree. I was pleased to see there was one shop owner who planned and received city permission to plant a redbud, but of course they are expected to fully care for it themselves. Meanwhile, I have volunteered to do drive-by plantings. I have not yet begun to get myself in trouble in this town.
(**added 6-12-8 link for newspaper article on the meeting)
Change of subject…I did a collage earlier, figured I should put it up but I’m too lazy to do another post with the anagram (which harks back to the MRI thing in previous posts). Yes, once again folks, a randomly chosen comic strip, “I was kinda’ scared but my mom told me to close my eyes and think of something pleasant” gave me this, “Some felt my pcMRI was a sound idea, some think the angels came, stand by it, don’t look.”