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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trees - Development Projects Need Standards to Protect Them Better

Michael Oxman is an ISA Certified Arborist in Seattle and sends this message and illustrations to futher clarify what can happen when trees are not properly protected during development projects.

Misconceptions about tree biology are compounded by not appreciating the value of trees.

The left side of the diagram (above) shows fantasy, and reality on the right.
Let's move from a drawing to a photograph. The picture was taken at the Seattle Zoo on Christmas Eve, 2009. Notice the unfenced dripline, red spray can, soil stockpile, rebar stacked against the trunk, etc. This tree will probably die soon. Here is public money spent on Parks property to damage trees. The Seattle Parks Senior Urban Forester wrote a report saying the trees were unharmed. So we move from bungling to coverup. Should the citizens allow elected officials & staff to sweep mistreatment of trees under the rug? 

Has the situation changed? Urban forestry is not simply appreciation or education. It is not just regulation or enforcement. It is not public relations or damage control. Urban forestry is citizen action to make decisionmakers accountable for making the canopy coverage goals in our Comprehensive Plans a reality. A non-profit citizen urban forestry organization needs to sound the cry to protect our trees!
Arboreally yours,
Michael Oxman
ISA Certified Arborist #PN-0756A
(206) 949-8733

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