All posts by Jim Abbot

Wanna Help? Here’s How!

If you love Inman Park’s trees — heck, even if you’re just the slightest bit fond of them — there are ways to support them. Here are some:

Help Us Prune Our Trees

We have ongoing pruning projects. Our next scheduled workday is Monday, October 16th, 9:00 AM. Meet on the porch of 946 Waverly Way. Don’t worry! Even if you don’t have much experience, we can use your help.

Help Us Find Places to Plant

We’re always on the lookout for empty spots in yards and sidewalk planting strips. On Saturday, November 4th, 9:00 AM, we’ll gather on the porch of 946 Waverly Way for a brief training in how to recognize a good spot for a tree. Afterward, we’ll head out in teams of two to walk a few of our neighborhood streets and take some notes. Join us!

Help Us Plant New Trees

We’ll be planting trees in Inman Park on the morning of Saturday, January 13th, rain or shine. Meet us on the porch of 207 Hurt Street at 8:30 AM for coffee and bagels, and then we’ll get to work.

Help Us Advocate for Our Urban Forest

Follow this blog and/or our Twitter account (@inmanparktrees) for news about tree and urban forest protection in Atlanta. The next 18 months will be full of opportunities to protect Atlanta’s future urban forest. Your voice at a public meeting or in an emailed comment really can make a difference!

Support Tree Watch Financially

Tax-deductible donations to support our work may be sent to:

  • Mr. Steve Hays, Treasurer
  • Friends of Inman Park
  • 207 Hurt St. NE
  • Atlanta, GA 30307

Think Big, Atlanta, or Go Home

Let’s imagine a different way of doing things.

In an earlier post, written while I was on vacation, I reported on a proposed development at the so-called Villa De Grip property, located near the intersection of North Highland Avenue and Elizabeth Street, across the street from the restaurants Sotto Sotto and Fritti.

Here’s a screenshot of the plan, showing the addition of a proposed new building on the corner of North Highland and Copenhill, as well as a new multistory parking deck at the rear of the property.

An aerial view of the property indicates clearly how much tree cover will be affected by the construction of the new building and parking deck:

Atlanta’s existing tree protection ordinance will almost certainly not stand in the way of this project. Consistent with the ordinance, the developers are proposing to replace these native, over-story tree species (water oak, sweet gum, winged elm, loblolly pine, etc.) mostly with non-native, smaller (trident maple) and mid-canopy species (e.g., Chinese elm). What they cannot replace, they will write a check for, according to a simple formula¹ that treats all trees the same, whether they’re trees that might live 30 years or trees that can live 200+ years.²

What might a different approach to tree and urban forest protection involve? Let’s imagine, via some ideas that other cities have already implemented and others that Atlanta tree advocates are presently discussing: Continue reading Think Big, Atlanta, or Go Home

Values

Delivered on September 22, 2017, at Trees Atlanta’s Canopy Conference. 

We have an excellent question to consider: “Can passion alone save trees?” As Neil mentioned, I’d like to make a short, preliminary comment now, and closer to the end of the session, offer a concrete suggestion.

Let me start by appealing to my other passion, namely, literature. “The Second Tree from the Corner” is the title of a wonderful short story by E. B. White, better known today as the author of the children’s classic book, Charlotte’s Web. At the conclusion of this particular story, a man has just left his psychiatrist’s office. At long last, he’s had an insight into the nature of his unhappiness, when he catches sight of a tree. Here’s how E. B. White describes it:

A small tree, rising between him and the light, stood there saturated with the evening, each gilt-edged leaf perfectly drunk with excellence and delicacy. [His] spine registered an ever so slight tremor as it picked up this natural disturbance in the lovely scene. “I want the second tree from the corner, just as it stands,” he said … And he felt a slow pride in realizing that what he wanted none could bestow, and that what he had none could take away.

Continue reading Values

Trees and Sidewalks

What the heck?

Yep, arborist Chris Hughes of Brookwood Tree Consulting was in the ‘hood yesterday. He was here at the invitation of Inman Park Tree Watch, in order to assess several trees in the path of our upcoming sidewalk renovation projects.

Here’s Chris with Peter Coyne of Oakview Landscape Construction, at the base of a lovely, mature American elm on Euclid Avenue. The goal? Get this sidewalk work done with minimal to no impact on nearby trees.

With guidance from Hughes and drawing on deep experience working around our trees in Inman Park, Coyne is able to pull all sorts of tricks from his sleeve: bridging over roots, skirting around them, and so on.

We’re so lucky to have professionals like Hughes and Coyne working in Inman Park! And we’re proud to have a thoughtful program in place to ensure that we do everything possible to protect the health and prolong the lives of our street trees.

In Which We Embark on Remarks about Parks

Community planner and parks guru Dee Merriam, late of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, was in the ‘hood on September 14 to give a presentation for us at the Trolley Barn.  “Making People Places” was her title.

Knowledge was had by all.

And now we gotta think about stuff like this, which Dee pointed out on her tour of Inman Park: (1) visibility issues, (2) problems with access points, and (3) too few reasons to go to our parks.

So, would it be nice eventually to have a path with seating areas along the western edges of Springvale Park? With proper clearance of understory plants and some limbing up of trees, think how pleasant it could be to sit with a friend and look down into our little gem of a park.

We have so much maintenance to do! Who would know that behind this dense wall of green is a beautiful and historic park?

What safety-conscious person would venture into this Continue reading In Which We Embark on Remarks about Parks

Hey, Inman Park! How About a New Tree?

Each winter, Tree Watch plants 50 to 60 new trees in Inman Park. We plant in sidewalk planting strips, and we plant in homeowners’ yards, front or back. We’ll be planting again this winter, Saturday, January 13, beginning at 9:00 AM.

Do you want a new tree or trees for your home?

Please fill out the contact form below, and we’ll be in touch with you to set up a consultation. We’ll even bring along a landscape architect/arborist from Trees Atlanta. You can meet us at your home, show us your property, and discuss your preferences with us.

(Note: if your new tree happens to be covered by an existing contract that Trees Atlanta is fulfilling, it may be that you’ll incur no cost at all. Otherwise, you’ll be invited to make a donation to defray some of the expense.)