Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Today is the last day to vote for the Lands Council project, "Reforest Spokane Day", in a national contest sponsored by Tom's of Maine. I've been voting every day, in accordance with the rules, and have encouraged others to do so. At the same time I've had the feeling that this effort is treating the symptom, rather than getting at the root of the problem (sorry).
The first thing the Lands Council might do, in cooperation with the city arborist, is work to educate citizens and homeowners before they deforest Spokane. Each time a tree falls in a neighborhood in town the tree service companies swarm about like so many flies, canvassing the neighborhood to offer their opinions and services for other dangerous trees. This opportunistic exploitation needs to stop.
A couple years back a tree fell a block or two from us, hitting the house next door. We learned from an arborist that the tree that fell was located in a low area where runoff water accumulated, both weakening the tree and limiting its grip on the soil. Eventually the roots just pulled up. Within hours the tree service crews were everywhere in the neighborhood, and the sound of chainsaws filled the air as people gave in to their fears.
Our neighbor offered to pay to have our beautiful, large Ponderosa Pine removed, stating his fear that it would fall on his house, and his discomfort with the sap that was getting on his wife's car. We contacted an arborist who told us the tree was indeed healthy and a wonderful specimen. It will remain in place as long as we own the house. Our neighbor is unhappy. Sap on the car! Oh, the humanity!
Let's reforest Spokane with Ponderosa Pines. While they are growing, let's educate residents of our fair city about the inestimable worth of the trees they already have.