There are earlier posts of mine about gas-powered leaf blowers: read them here and here. Washington, D.C., recently enacted a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, to take full effect by 2022. The journalist James Fallows and his wife Deb were among a small group of neighborhood activists who started working toward this in 2015. You can read here a short article by Fallows at The Atlantic with links to additional information.
Getting Some Tree Work Done?
Get multiple bids with detailed estimates of the costs and time required.
Ask whether the work will be planned and supervised by an arborist who is certified by the International Society of Arboriculture.
What equipment will be used? If you are told that a crane or boom lift is necessary, ask why the work can’t be done by tree workers climbing with ropes.
How will they clean up your property at the completion of the removal or pruning?
Exercise some due diligence. If you spot a tree worker in a boom lift (see photo above) wielding an unsecured chainsaw without any protective gear at all (hardhat, safety glasses, earplugs, gloves), you’ve hired the wrong company. If workers seem to you to be insufficiently careful around the chipper, you’ve hired the wrong company. Ask them to stop work immediately and insist on speaking with a manager.
Note that some tree services are investing in electric equipment and committing to practices that are better for the environment. If you can afford to pay a little extra for that service, you will be encouraging other companies to do the same.
Here’s an earlier post on this website about selecting a tree service company.
Hiring a Lawn Service?
Does the company offer a clean and quiet service using battery-powered and manual equipment? Does it have expertise in organic lawn and plant care?
What is the minimum number of times each month that you absolutely need this service? Do you need it year-round, e.g., even in winter?
Can the work be scheduled at a time when it is least likely that the noise will disturb your neighbors, e.g., not on a weekend and not early in the morning or late in the afternoon?
Do the workers seem professional and well-trained? Do they wear protective gear? Are they paid a living wage?
Hiring Someone to Spray for Mosquitoes?
Before you sign up, do your homework. Are you breeding mosquitoes by leaving standing water on your property? Can you adequately protect yourself by applying repellent or screening a porch? What chemical will the company use, and what can you find out about that chemical by doing your own research? Are you vulnerable enough to the inconvenience of a mosquito bite or the remote chance of contracting a mosquito-borne disease that it outweighs the environmental damage caused by the spraying, e.g., the killing of bees?
Here’s a Consumer Reports article on whether to spray your yard for mosquitoes and ticks. And once again, as with anyone visiting your property to do work, insist on professionalism and adequate safety measures: if the young person misting your yard is wearing no protective equipment at all, for example, ask why.
January 19, 9:00 AM-Noon — Inman Park Tree Planting
September 22, 9:00-Noon — Springvale Park Rescue Operation, Part One! COMPLETED!!!
September 29, 9:00-Noon — Freedom Park Kudzu Killing! COMPLETED!!!
October 20, November 17, December 15, 9:00-Noon — Forest Stewardship Series at Trees Atlanta!
Many, many thanks to Peter Coyne and his son Declan of Oakview Landscape Construction for our new tree wells on Ashland Avenue.
Declan is working toward his Arrow of Light rank in Cub Scouts and this was his community service project. He talked with Inman Park Tree Watch about the contributions that urban trees to energy conservation, and then he and his dad got to work.
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
Which is apparently a real thing. I decided to give it a try.
Turns out it works.