Sunday, April 21, 2013

In Defense of Trees

During Superstorm Sandy, 20 large trees lining Oxford Avenue came down, destroying cars, knocking down power lines and damaging homes.  All this in a one block area that had just been paved.  Our engineers believe that the installation of new curbs and blacktop affected the tree roots and made them  vulnerable to high winds. In the storms aftermath, one Oxford Avenue homeowner took down a spectacular 70 year old oak tree on their front yard.  The Shade Tree Commissioners recently asked homeowners on this street if they are interested in the city planting new trees in the tree lawn ( the area between the curb and sidewalk).  Many said no, some because of understandable safety concerns, some because they don't want to rake leaves in the fall.

I believe that, with more knowledge of the Tree Commission's plans and policies and of the benefits trees bring to a neighborhood, most people would welcome new city trees.  Here is why:

1.  Our Shade Tree Commission created a list of trees for planting along streets.  No longer will Plainfield plant the oaks and maples that grow to 60 -70 feet or more.  We are planting trees that mature small and moderate in size, 

2. Trees on our list don't tend to heave sidewalks or create excessive droppings for residents to contend with.  These policies are carefully researched with the assistance of a certified forestry expert.

3.  Trees cool your neighborhood during hot summer days and the shade they bring lower your cost of air conditioning.

4. Trees are beautiful and a tree lined street increases property values.

5.  Best of all, (definitely for me) a neigbhorhood with enough trees to create a forest somehow improves the quality of living.  I can't define why this is but just compare many of Plainfields neighborhoods with some newer suburban areas where there are few mature trees.  You will understand what I mean.

The good things in life require effort. Raking leaves is well worth it and brings people out of their homes to commune with their neighbors during the crisp days of autumn.  So be glad and say yes when a friendly Plainfield Shade Tree Commissioner asks you if you want a tree.



Maria Pellum, Plainfield Resident said...


Is it possible for you to share the list of trees that the STC has picked up for Plainfield?

I think that putting up the list of trees along with the STC's strategic plan about planting and care of these trees will ease people's mind and might gain advocates.


Maria Pellum

Bernice said...

Very good post!

Gregory said...

Well stated, Councilman Storch. This former Plainfielder agrees with your comments wholeheartedly. Life is better with trees.
Greg Palermo