Susan's recent post about street trees being offered in her neighborhood inspired me to seek out this photo:
This is my street, in around 1905, I'm guessing from the mutton-chop sleeves on the women on the porches. My house is the one with the hammock on the porch. We don't have a hammock there now. We'd have to listen to the sound of the air conditioner next door while swinging. It hardly seems relaxing.
Caroline Street circa 1905 is lovely, though shady. The trees enforce a kind of consistency on the neighborhood, which is nice. I'm guessing that they are elms, which would explain why we don't have giant street trees today. Of course, we do have some old surviving sugar maples on this street, which are struggling in a warming climate, so it's possible that they were all maples, though their crowns don't seem quite round enough for maples.
The street doesn't look like that today:
And many of the trees are gone. A neighbor convinced the city to take an old one down just last year. The city agreed that the tree was sick, but I'm not so sure local officials aren't just eager to get everything out from under the power lines.
Here is the front of my house last spring:
I think that's okay. I think times change, and real food is more important at the moment than a consistent, verdant look for the neighborhood.
I like the old photo. But if you gave me a choice, I'd never give up the bit of sun I've got here today. The front of my house faces south, and it represents a rare chance to grow a rose or a food crop.
I'm in the Henry Mitchell school: Trees belong in forests, not tiny city yards.