Friday, June 2, 2017
I was recently there but didn't take my camera because I thought I was done blogging about trees. Big mistake. Their use of trees was beautiful. And it occurred to me (again) that the cities with the least need for trees (ie cold climates) often use them best. And cities with the most need for them (LA, Perth) make a meal of it. I've got my thoughts on why this is. I think it's essentially about the relative ease of growing trees in cold, wet places with heavy soils and the wide choice of trees that that affords you. But the main thing we have to do is get over it. We have to accept the severe limitations our climate and soil puts on our tree choices, accept the limited palette we have to work with, and get on with putting this relatively small range of trees EVERYWHERE. Stop needing to always plant "something different". PLANT WHAT WORKS. I wrote in an earlier post that the constant need to be different is really immaturity - insecurity. Here's the thing: we just want GREEN, SHADY STREETS. Who cares what the actual tree is that produces it? At ground level - WHERE WE LIVE - it all looks the same. Go with what works. Forget native versus exotic. Go with what works. Cities are artificial. So by definition must be the "urban forest". Until we grow up and get "international" we will continue to look parochial and silly, sweltering in our baking, blinding streetscapes. But hey, at least we're DIFFERENT. Yeah, right. It reminds me of the car crash victim uttering with his dying breath; "I was in the right.". Dead is dead.