Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Out of the frying pan...

The last line in this article about the potential health impacts of London Plane gave me a chuckle:

"The Council is slowly replacing [them] with alternate species such as Lemon-scented Gum."

You might get crushed to death by a falling limb but at least you'll be able to warn others with your dying breath because your throat won't be choked with Plane hairs :)

But seriously, we have to be careful here because this can become like sawing legs off a table. We can end up on a kind of tree-swapping merry-go-round. The fact is, all trees have situations where they are ideal and situations where they're not.

London Plane might become problematic where people congregate for lengthy periods (eg the outdoor cafes in the article) but that doesn't mean we shouldn't use them to shade a car park for example. They are far and away the best choice for that application.

Similarly, Lemon-scented Gum (Eucalyptus citriodora) probably wouldn't be my first choice for a camp ground (or a cafe strip for that matter) but that doesn't mean we shouldn't use them to line a roadway.

We shouldn't be thinking to "ban" any tree - just use them more judiciously.

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