Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Trees are good

We have been melting away here i Seattle the last couple of days. The temperature has been over 90 degrees F/ 33 degrees C. Which has reminded me of one of my favourite "babies" - that trees are good. Not just for the climate (or reversing the CO2 change) but also for providing shade and keeping us cool.

It is sad to see how often the builders cut off all the trees when building. Of course it is a question of economical resources, but I really hope that more people would understand the value of mature trees for the environment. Not only the ecological value, but also esthetic and historical value of them.

I Saltsjöbaden, I took a couple of pictures of an beautiful house from the early 1900's, which got new owners and shortly thereafter was disfigured forever as they did not understand the value of the trees srrounding it. Now the house stands without "any framing", looking just tired and old. Even the old, beautiful oaks, normally appreciated even by the most ardent "tree-haters", were pruned back "to rejuvenate them". Something that you don't think would be needed with oaks, as normally the older oak, the better & more beautiful! It is so sad to see that the new owners do not see that the old trees are a big part of the charm of these older suburbs, part of their history that can't be bought for any money. It will take generations to repair the wounds like in this garden.

Here in Seattle, I've been confronted with even more dramatic kind of building practices: literally everything on the lot is bull-dozed off. So all that is left is a plain area of rubble and concrete rests. And after building the house, the whole area is landscaped again. But the trees won't be there for a couple of decades to give their dimension for the gardens. And in this heat, you have to turn on your A/C instead of getting their shade for free. I'm just wondering, as we are trying to be so green and environmentally correct these days, why don't we make this connection and start caring for the trees?


Lee17 said...

Oh, how sad! It really makes me cry when people mutilate old beautiful trees and developers scrape the land of EVERY SINGLE TREE. I live in one of those newly developed neighborhoods where they scraped away all the trees. I have planted a bunch of new trees native and adapted to my area, but it will be years before they really fill in. Why can't people just build around the old trees? Sigh.

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

I truly agree. And today, when everybody is shopping organic products and recycling things, why can't we just see that trees really are part of all that and should be protected? An old oak is an ecosystem of hundreds of smaller organisms...

Karen said...


Aren't there laws to protect trees in Sweden? Well, at least Seattle is trying - I think now there are some more stringent requirements for cutting them down in the city. So sad to see what you show - it is butchery on such an insane level, how can they stand the ugliness they must pass and look out on every day? And what "gardener" recommended/did that work? Looks like a war zone!