Category Archives: Education

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

Tree Pruning: Beginner’s Class

We’re offering Inman Park residents and residents of nearby neighborhoods (e.g., Edgewood, Candler Park, O4W, Lake Claire, Poncey-Highlands, Va-Hi,  Druid Hills, etc.) a free pruning workshop on Sunday, June 25, from 2:00-5:00 pm. It’s for beginners or anyone who needs a refresher. Details and sign up here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tree-pruning-beginners-class-tickets-35186135679

The workshop will be led by Jim Abbot, a longtime volunteer with Trees Atlanta and chair of Inman Park Tree Watch.

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Now, for you literary types, here’s poet Allison Funk reading her short poem “On Pruning.” Going back thousands of years, we humans have regarded pruning as an obvious source of wisdom about our own lives. Enjoy.

The Invisible World

Next time you’re out for a walk in our lovely neighborhood, try this experiment.  See whether you can imagine the hidden world below your feet.

Start with this metaphor: a tree is like a wine glass on a dinner plate (video is 1 minute, 38 seconds).

So, even at an appreciable distance from a nearby tree, you’re standing on a plate of soil filled with the tree’s small, tiny, and teensy roots, together with the “dinner” of water and nutrients that feed the tree!

Oh, wait, scratch that: you’re probably standing on a section of multiple, overlapping dinner plates. A massively intertwined network of roots reaching out in all directions from multiple trees:

Wait, there’s more! Continue reading The Invisible World