Citizen, Spare that Tree
Dear Bay Weekly:
Trees are essential for life on our Earth. We need to protect this precious resource for ourselves and for future generations.
Why are trees so valuable?
First, trees lower our utility bills. Without trees surrounding our homes, we would be huffing and puffing in our dwellings unless we cranked up the AC during hot and humid summers. Trees keep our homes cool and shaded, reducing our energy usage and thus greenhouse gas emissions.
Second, trees provide an aesthetically pleasing environment, lower city temperatures and reduce the urban heat island effect.
Third, trees manage stormwater runoff and prevent erosion. Their roots hold the soil together.
Fourth, they assist with reduction of air pollution. Trees do for the air what oysters do for the water.
So please think twice before cutting down any tree.
The decrease of the urban tree canopy in many communities over the past decades has been alarming. To reverse that trend, the city of Annapolis has made an agreement with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to increase the city’s urban tree canopy from 42 percent to 50 percent by 2036. Mayor Ellen Moyer wants to reach the goal even sooner: 50 percent by 2009.
To achieve this tree canopy increase, the city has committed to planting 1,000 trees annually.
The city recently spent $19,000 on 500 trees to give away to city residents to plant within city limits. Trees are a great asset as long as one plants them correctly and takes care of them. Proper tree care may include watering, fertilizing, staking, pruning, cabling and adding lightning protection.
Residents considering removing or disturbing trees in the city of Annapolis will probably need a permit. Please contact me, the city’s environmentalist, at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can work together and assure that your work is done properly and legally. No permit is required for pruning trees on private property.
Each person can make a difference in their own way, for example, by planting a tree.
Jan van Zutphen,
Environmentalist: City of Annapolis