All posts by Jim Abbot

Whack, Yak, and Snack

Beginning Saturday, September 18, and continuing every 3rd Saturday of the month through the spring, Tree Watch will be hosting Whack, Yak, and Snack.

WHACK: Prune trees, trim bushes, free trees of choking vines, yank up invasive plants, and in general, take care of our leafy green friends along our streets here in Inman Park and in our marvelous parks and greenspaces.

YAK: One of the things Inman Park does best. Yak while you whack. Spend a morning in the beautiful outdoors catching up with your friends.

SNACK: An Inman Park event without food doesn’t deserve the name. We’ll have a bagel, a pastry, or piece of fruit for you to start your day, and weather permitting, and also depending on interest, we will also have sandwiches or pizza and a cold drink of your choice afterward, courtesy of Inman Park Tree Watch.

Meet on the porch of 946 Waverly Way NE before 9:00 AM on the third Saturday of each month: (in 2021) September 18, October 16, November 20, December 18; (in 2022) January 15, February 19, March 19, April 16, May 21.

Bring water to drink, gloves if you have them, and your favorite tool(s) (saw, pruners, loppers, rakes, etc.), though we can also supply you with everything you need.

No experience necessary. Just a willingness to get your hands dirty and an aptitude for having a good time.

Rain or shine, as long as it’s not super yucky outside.

  • What: Whack, Yak, and Snack (Maintenance Projects)
  • When: Third Saturdays starting in September, 9:00 a.m. to noon
  • Where: Gather at 946 Waverly Way NE
  • Who: Inman Park volunteers and their friends
  • Why: Because it’ll be fun and rewarding, we promise

Contact Jim Abbot with questions through this website. Or if you’re an IPNA member, you can find my personal email and cellphone number in back issues of the Advocator and in my IPNA website profile.

White Wood Aster

I’m here to say that I planted this last fall, and now I’m in love. Eurybia divaricata, white wood aster.

More info from the Missouri Botanical Garden:

Eurybia divaricata is native to Eastern U.S. and typically grows in the wild in dry open woods. It grows in loose clumps with dark, sprawling, sometimes zigzag stems up to 2.5′ tall. Distinctive leaves are heart-shaped, stalked and coarsely toothed. Small but abundant flowers (to 1 inch across) have white rays and yellow to red center disks and appear in flat-topped, terminal clusters in late summer to early fall. Attractive to butterflies.

That’s it. That’s the post.

Credit: Anita Gould


I don’t get a ton of visitors and page views here on the Inman Park Tree Watch website, but from time to time, I’m amazed that a person sitting in a house, a college, or an internet cafe in Kuwait or Russia or Uganda stumbles onto this website. Or Indonesia, India, South Korea, Turkey. Or China. Or Singapore. Or Argentina.

Though, I suppose, what country doesn’t have trees?

Random Tree-Related Stuff That Interests Me and Might Interest You, Too

Atlanta’s 2021 Comprehensive Development Plan

I wish I could tell you that I understood exactly how the housing ideas in the proposed CDP and in Amir Farokhi’s suggested zoning changes might affect our overall tree canopy. I really can’t. Not at the moment.

As I understand it, the next draft of the CDP will be released on September 13, and then the entire document will be up for adoption by the City Council in October. As for Amir’s proposals, as he said himself at the IPNA meeting, they face an uncertain future in an election year.

In any case, Kronberg Urbanists + Architects is one group that has accepted the challenge of answering this broad question:

If all the people who are expected to move to Atlanta in the next decades actually show up (will they?), where we gonna put them all?

Continue reading Random Tree-Related Stuff That Interests Me and Might Interest You, Too


In an earlier post, about American beech, I included a shocking confession: I tend not to get all hot and bothered when I see that someone has carved letters or an image into the bark of a tree. I know it’s wrong to injure a tree willy-nilly, but I can’t help myself. It’s the romantic in me, and maybe also the professor of literature and history.

Carvings on a beech tree in New York’s Central Park — is that an image of a tree carved on this tree?

It goes back quite a ways, this practice of carving upon trees.

Continue reading Arborglyphs

Our Endorsement for Mayor Is …

… the candidate who is most persuasive in arguing that he or she will ensure that Atlanta works as well as it can for everybody who lives here.

Rich, poor, and in-between.

Older and younger folks.

Black, White, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, American Indian, and multiracial individuals.

Property owners as well as people whose few possessions fit into a plastic bag with room to spare.

Political independents, Democrats, and Republicans.

Those whose families have been here for generations, and those who got here last week.

From Buckhead (geez, take a deep breath and calm down, Buckhead) to Mozley Park.

Tree lovers, tree skeptics, and the many people who rarely if ever think about our trees.

The city needs to work. Departments and offices should meet and exceed minimal thresholds for effectiveness and efficiency. Problems, especially basic problems, should be addressed in a timely manner: police officers or firefighters showing up when they’re summoned, trash and recycling picked up on schedule, streets promptly repaired, and so on.

Continue reading Our Endorsement for Mayor Is …

The Poetry of Trees

In my backyard stands an American beech (Fagus grandifolia), 20 years old.

American beech (photo from November 2018)

I know it’s two decades old because it was a gift to my wife from her sister on her 40th birthday in 1991. It’s meant to remind her of the copper beach (Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea) that grew in front of their childhood home near Philadelphia.

On any given day, American beech is my favorite tree. Why? Well, obviously, it’s that smooth, gray bark that draws the eye in a forest of furrowed, ridged, warty, and scaly trees.

Beech tree (center) in Springvale Park
Continue reading The Poetry of Trees