Our urban deforestation

Trees are struggling to survive in U.S. cities, according a TIME report.
Tree cover across the country has fallen substantially in recent decades, victims of cities expansion, pollution, and slow replanting due to tight municipal budgets. In the past few decades, San Diego has lost 25% of its peak tree cover, while Washington, D.C., has lost 50%, the cover in cities in Michigan, North Carolina and Florida has fallen to about 27% of what it once was; Chicago and Philadelphia are just 16%.
Just in case you are not familiar with the 'tree-city ecology', here is the refresher: tree leaves filter out particulate pollution. The crown of a large tree also intercepts rain water that might otherwise clog cities’ aging drainage systems. In some cases, a tree can ensure that 1,500 gallons of water a year will evaporate before it hits the ground. Finally, tree shade stops asphalt from reflecting the sun’s heat and creating so-called heat islands. As an example, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Atlanta’s temperature is now five to eight degrees higher than the surrounding countryside following decades of development that bulldozed wooded areas.
Hug a tree, please.


Bilbo said...

I just had the opportunity to fly back into Washington, DC yesterday. From the air, the city is very, very green, and indeed there are lots and lots of trees. But in the suburbs, the trees are being cut down rapidly to make way for new development. It's very sad. One of the jokes in America is that developers cut down all the trees, then name streets in the new suburbs for them. Sad, but true. Bilbo.

Jen said...

I love trees. Recently on my street they chopped off tons of trees because they are working on a new subway line. I almost cried when I saw that.