Yesterday was tree-planting day in the neighborhood, fall edition, and it had its usual frustrations. This year I noticed that at least one tree that took me a good two hours to plant (getting through some old stump remains) had disappeared—that maybe it hadn’t even lasted a week after I planted it! And we saw that a couple property owners had taken it into their heads to blacktop their easeway/hellstrips/whatever, which is where we plant these municipal trees. And there were a couple difficult spots where a pickaxe had to be employed to clear some debris in the planting hole. Also, the city had not updated its online tree map, so we had to make our own decisions on where the trees were needed—and our own guesses where utility infrastructure had to be avoided.
But it could be worse. I had an errand in the burbs after we planted and it took me to a little cul-de-sac where every lawn had the same closely-shaven appearance, there were few trees of any description, and there were no sidewalks. Our median strips might be a bit narrow, and it’s not exactly a blast to take shovel in hand on a chilly November air, but at least our neighborhood looks like a neighborhood and not some kind of Stepford bastion. The urban tree picture is not perfect by any means—but the alternative is unthinkable.
This year—why not—I handed out bags of species tulips that I had gotten on sale and asked the planters to throw ten or so around every tree. They will provide some interest for a few years as the saplings grow. Also just for fun, here is an interactive project from my husband about trees (kind of).