Quick! Which one of these is true?
- Tree are large, woody plants that (for pennies on the dollar) provide Atlanta with essential ecological goods and services, for which we would otherwise have to use precious tax money.
- Trees are living organisms in their own right, and they have been our constant companions on this planet throughout human history. Their presence everywhere among us in this forested city is a daily source of inspiration and sense of wellbeing. Our lives are immeasurably enhanced by trees.
- Trees are fine and all that, but no tree is going to offer me a decent job, keep a roof over my head, or make sure I have access to healthcare. Honestly? A dollar spent on trees is a dollar not spent on far more urgent priorities. Can we talk about transit and affordable housing now?
- Trees frighten me. They fall and kill people. I don’t think I should have to be afraid in my own house every time a thunderstorm rolls through Atlanta.
- Trees! Oh la de da. Is this a garden club meeting? What makes a city a place where people want to live is other people. Enough with all this talk about trees! Music festivals, the arts, pedestrian-friendly streets, events that bring the entire city together — if we want a vibrant Atlanta, a city that can be mentioned in the same breath as New York or Los Angeles, we need to invest in people.
Continue reading The Future of Atlanta’s Urban Forest: Third in a Series
Atlanta is a city in a forest.
That’s more than a tagline. Among major U.S. cities, Atlanta — the city proper, that is, excluding the suburbs for present purposes — has the most tree cover of all, at just under 50 percent.
Keep in mind, however, that not so very long ago, our urban forest was much, much larger and denser. Below is a comparison of metro Atlanta’s tree cover over time, from 1974 to 1996. (The city limits appear in red.) It’s stunning, isn’t it? Continue reading The Future of Atlanta’s Urban Forest: Second in a Series
It’s an exciting time for those of us who value Atlanta’s trees and urban forest. We’ve become used to scenes like this:
But help may be on the way. Continue reading The Future of Atlanta’s Urban Forest: First in a Series
Thanks to Tree Watch member Ken Taber for the design!
In 2005, an arborist delivered some bad news to the developers of Marble Lofts on Dekalb Avenue. He reported that in his professional judgment, a large southern red oak (Quercus falcata) on the site would probably not survive the impending construction. The city’s arborist agreed and put up a notice of his intent to issue a permit for the tree’s removal.
Thanks to Atlanta’s progressive tree ordinance, however, an adjacent homeowner was given adequate time to appeal the city arborist’s decision. That man reached out to Tree Watch, which saw merit in his appeal and decided to work with him to make his case.
In the end, the neighbor won his case before the Tree Conservation Commission. Fortunately for the tree, the developers opted not to appeal the commission’s decision to superior court. Instead, with some slight adjustments in the site design, their construction had a smaller impact on the tree than they had feared.
All’s well that ends well! Here’s a picture of that tree, more than a decade after an Inman Park resident made an effort to rescue it.