Tree lobby: Where do we grow from here?


The recent news of tree cutting and replacement planting raises the question, Do we have a plan for our future treescapes? No, the simple answer is, the Island’s insular town administrators plan and plant without thoughtful consideration of all the options.

Poor plant selection without regard for adaptability, or choosing old and inferior (often invasive) trees results. The other limiting factor is aftercare — water and the stewardship of trees after planting — is not funded.

I spoke with Polly Hill Arboretum’s executive director, Tim Boland, who is not surprised: “When you look across North American municipal planning, biological infrastructure, trees, and greenways are not adequately funded, a larger symptom of our neglect in an investment in clean air and water. It’s no different on the Island; the landscapes reflect a benign neglect in our towns’ trees.

“The Arboretum is a rich resource of trained scientists and a living laboratory of trees with a documented history of growth, both successes and failures. An old bumper sticker I had on a now long-gone car stated, “Trees Are the Answer.” I still believe that’s true. Let’s plan and plant better trees to meet the challenges of climate change, and think of a more beautiful and verdant future.”



  1. I really don’t understand the tree cutting on Circuit Avenue. The street looks lost, vacant, lacking in warmth. The trees were inviting, their absence? Certainly not a motivation to shop in the stores. It looks ridiculous.

  2. If the trees were reaching their life expectancy as mentioned before i believe, why not cut them down. I thought the idea is to replace them. May be less money to cut down and replace then dig up and replant if they will die soon anyway and have to be replaced. If that’s the case the town made the right decision. I like trees thou and every one anywhere should be saved if possible without a doubt. To many people buy house lots and clear cut it. These past two years with real estate selling no doubt more were cut down then the number on main street.

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