Letter: Talking about trees


Condemn them, execute them without haste, reward the sun with a new place to shine. Did anyone hear the trees fall? Welcome to the concrete jungle, Grand Forks, where heritage trees are fairly extinct and heritage stumps rule the land.

Humans have little patience to let a tree live longer than them. One could never begin to list all the subliminal rationalizations for termination, including mercy killing. Some are punished for a potential future liability.

The sword might be negligence or it might be expedience but either way the result would be a stump. On city streets, majestic specimens are routinely hacked in order to further expose the unsightly overhead wiring, like an experiment gone bad. It’s tough being a tree, without a voice.

It’s also tough being a tree-hugger in a world with so much human tragedy. Don’t forget the history of Grand Forks is of a town fed by trees and the forest industry.

For us to think trees should be like a fish to think water. But consider a tree worth more than the price quoted in London or Tokyo. Besides renewable energy and creature comforts, we are gifted with esthetic beauty, sunscreen, windbreak and environmental equilibrium.

Meanwhile, what is a healthy measure of tree biomass to aerate one human being? What about for a city mired in bad air? Big trees do a big job. Many cities have bylaws protecting all trees, public or private. Some urban trees worldwide have become tourist attractions in their own right.

There are landmark trees, sacred trees, millennium trees and awesome works of art.

I have personally seen cities focus on the downtown core, clad in heritage trees. Local gardeners have demonstrated that countless species can thrive in the Sunshine Valley; a wide cocktail of biodiversity to compliment today’s challenging climate demands. But all too often, life is cut short. Is there something wrong with planting a seed and designating a tree to live a complete life?

S. Ewasyn, Grand Forks

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