View Full Version : interesting aerial view of how trees grow in urban areas

5-29-12, 4:03pm

5-29-12, 4:10pm
Very important information. This is something that we can all help change, and should.
Thank you for sharing.

5-29-12, 5:23pm
This matches my experience. And, things like that are why I can never really be fully on board with voluntary poverty as it were, as in a deliberate choice not just to give up excess things but to be poor.

Stuff like: "go live in the ghetto to save money etc.". Well there's a price to that, though it's not immediately visible, you won't even get as much nice oxygen from trees for instance. Really though that shows in health statistics etc.. Your neighborhood will be the one most likely to host a toxic dump etc. (they put that stuff in poor neighborhoods). The poor do die sooner, and it's not all health insurance, it's many things. So to choose voluntary poverty in America (and maybe according to the pics elsewhere too) is to choose a lot of bad things.

And no, I don't think all poverty is voluntary or anything, I'm addressing the type of ideas sometimes discussed here.

5-29-12, 11:00pm
Thanks for posting this, it would never have occurred to me. Very sad though...

iris lily
5-30-12, 12:13am
Egad there are so many things I could say in response to this subject, being the urban tree hater that I am.

My experience is different. In my quest for urban garden space I spend a fair amount of time assessing the urban landscape for suitable garden properties. Trees are, of course, The Enemy to gardeners.

The ghetto properties that I eye for cheap buying usually have a LOT of junk trees on them. In fact I was scoping out a vacant lot over the weekend that I think is for sale, and there it stood in all of it's south facing glory with one big ole fat tree on the north end. Now, a tree all the way back on the northernmost end wouldn't be a hinderence to sunlight. But I could just hear DH's disgusted voice in my ear "that's a $2,000 take down!" because the sucker is BIG and it is old with lots of dead parts, and the liability it presents isn't something that we, non-ghetto dwellers with assets, wish to take on.

When you live in the ghetto you let junk trees like Alienthus come up and drop branches, limbs, and eventually entire tree trunks her there and everywhere.

5-30-12, 12:26am
You might not like gardening here Iris :-)


5-30-12, 12:45am
Very sad.

5-30-12, 11:20am
Trees are, of course, The Enemy to gardeners
We could not garden at all here without the filtered light that trees provide. They provide some relief from the glaring sun.

5-30-12, 1:52pm
The difference is stark, but I think their assessment is a bit off. By the article, it is assumed that it's the city that is planting all those trees in the better off neighborhoods but really, it's more likely it's the homeowners who are planting the trees. It's not just poverty but attitude towards your home and neighborhood. Getting trees cheap or free isn't difficult. Most cities have programs in place for homeowners who want to green up their neighborhood. But the homeowner has to invest time and willingness to do the work, as well as care for the tree, water etc...
I'm not saying there isn't a difference, but the cause isn't so black and white, or discriminatory as the authors want you to believe.

5-30-12, 2:01pm
A lot has to do with the population per square mile as well. I live on the edge of the poorer section of town. Houses in my neighborhood are mostly single family homes (though not all) and have at most .25 acres of land. By the time to you get half a mile from my house, going downtown, the houses are multifamily or tenaments and have maybe two or three feet between them and maybe a small paved alleyway for parking cars. Where there were trees there is a building or pavement. The further away from the downtown area you go, the larger the singe family home, more land per home you will see and the more trees you will see. Upside to the neighborhood where I live. 325 acres of wooded walking/biking trails (state park land) is within walking distance of this part of town.

5-30-12, 2:38pm
I hear ya Iris. We're in the process of buying a house that we will renovate and move in to. The very first sub I called for a bid was a tree service. We will need them to take down a big, mangy looking pine and an overgrown redbud. Those will be removed because they are too close to the house, shabby looking and mostly because they shade the back yard where my garden will be.

All that said, the little house we're buying is in the old money, still very affluent part of town. When houses do come up for sale there they tend to go quick and bring a higher than average price. The main reason for that is the trees in the area. It has wide boulevards lined with huge trees for blocks and blocks and beautiful, stately homes with large, manicured yards. Ours is not at all one of those, but we benefit from being in that area.

Funny thing is that here the older, poorer parts of town also have lots of trees. Its the new areas that were cornfields a couple years ago that do not have trees, it doesn't matter what the cost of housing there is. I can see the correlation in urban areas though. More wealth buys more space just about anywhere and where people have enough space they are going to plant trees. In poorer areas the developers couldn't afford to "waste" space on something that didn't produce. The one sure way to keep costs lower is to make every square foot count. Trees take up a lot of space. They add a lot of value when they are mature, but saplings don't AND you have to allow space for future growth of the tree that takes away from the developable ground in the beginning. It's sad, but it makes sense economically.

5-30-12, 3:11pm
A lot of it is a matter of raw acerage. More acerage = more trees. More acerage = cost more money. It is land you are paying for. But even if you bother with none of that, personally I just like to live somewhere where there are lots of trees near by.

5-30-12, 6:36pm
I noticed this years ago. Some of our loveliest neighborhoods are so heavily treed (e.g. Beaux Arts, Lake Forest Park) you're lucky to catch glimpses of the houses nestled among them. I have "junk trees" (my favorite new oxymoron) all over my property, because I have a laissez faire attitude where nature is concerned. Good inner urban neighborhoods have fewer trees (I basically live in a forest), but still maintain lots of old growth and well-loved younger trees.

iris lily
5-30-12, 11:40pm
You might not like gardening here Iris :-)

ha ha, yup. Not my cup of tea. What do you people grow there, anyway? Ferns and slugs, methinks.

5-30-12, 11:46pm
Yes. Ferns. My front yard is full of them. The Zillow shot of my property is just a big, dark blob.

5-30-12, 11:51pm
I grow moss on my ferns!

I wish I'd taken a picture of the nice tree saplings growing in the rain gutters of the cars before I washed them in the yearly spring ritual last week.


6-3-12, 10:53pm
That's what I mean about feeling like I'm living in a terrarium when it rains here. I grew up within hiking distance of Pacific rainforest on the Oregon coast. My aunt and uncle lived on the edge of it. Heaven.

My little private forest has cedar and fir, madrona, maples, rhododendrons, and mixed deciduous trees. A little nature preserve. All reasonable offers considered. :~)