Ashland has the honor to wear the badge of “Tree City USA,” and for good reason. We are blessed with so many stunning examples of iconic mature trees, and it really makes the town shine! The crown jewel of neighborhoods is the parklike Mountain Ranch area on the south end of town.
When the neighborhood was developed in the late 70’s, legend has it that the developer gave prospective buyers the option of picking their own trees for landscaping purposes. The result was the opposite of the typical cookie cutter plantings you see in most neighborhoods across America. Instead of a redundant pattern of what I term “Hell Trees” that are a common planting theme, Mountain Ranch properties and common area greenways has a unique plethora of varieties that has to be seen to be appreciated…
A stunning variety of conifers and broadleaf hardwoods make for such a seasonal display, it is truly a joy, pretty much every day of the year!
When I am asked to pick a tree for a client, I direct them to take a walk in that section of town, before making any decisions concerning their own tree selection.
The H.O.A. has the benefit of abundant water thanks to the T.I.D., so irrigation, or lack thereof is of no consequence.
All tree guys have their own pet projects, and I have had the good fortune to spend my time (and the H.O.A.’s money) caring for the trees that make the neighborhood such a desirable area for the homeowners that reside there call home.
It features public trailheads owned by the city, and expansive greenways lined with beautiful mature trees.
Most developments, new and old, have the pitfall of thinking too far “in the box” when it comes to planting selection, and that is what sets Mountain Ranch apart from the rest. Most H.O.A.’s have unfortunately been plagued with poor long term designs ranging from duplicate plantings that are either short lived and susceptible to pathogenic decline, or, the planting area is just too small for the size of the species planted. This is a problem! Just when the benefit of mature trees makes the neighborhood such a nice place to live, yep, you guessed it, trees must come down, sidewalks/curbs replaced, and there is a giant “hole in the sky” that the tree used to occupy.
Numerous studies across the globe have shown mature trees in the landscape have such a positive influence on society, such as lower crime rates, lower power bills, better grades for students, less stress on people in their day to day lives, lower divorce rates, etc.
From an arboricultural viewpoint, the Mountain Ranch area is about as good as it gets when it comes to design, variety, and layout.