While the recent visit of James Urban to Ashland last week left a few people scratching their heads, I came away with the fact that this guy really knows his stuff!
He has obviously “been there, done that,” and it really shined in his presentations.
You see, being the world’s most foremost authority on the issues relating to trees, and their relationship to soils in an urban environment, the citizens of Ashland are very fortunate to have had him visit, examine, and advise us on what we should do from this point forward.
Jim doesn’t really think outside the box, he just builds a new box!
The most important thing he pointed out, was that we need BIG trees in our town!
We looked at a lot of failures of both trees and their planting sites.
Almost all of the sites where trees are/were slated for removal were “fixable,” and he provided solutions to our situations.
In short, our trees aren’t too big for our planting site, our planting sites are too small for our much-needed big trees, something I’ve been touting for decades…
Tear out the stupidly overpriced planting grates, bust up and throw away the broken and lifting sidewalks, curtail and redirect drainage, and move on with our lives!
We have to get this ball rolling, and we gotta get it rolling like, now…
If we continue down our present path, we will be looking at a bunch of sunburned lollipops we claim to be street trees for the rest of time.
Coming up with solutions that make everyone, as well as the trees, happy will take some doing, but it must be done if we expect a decent, relatively trouble-free canopy to enjoy during our July 4th parade…
Our street tree failures aren’t really failures so much as they are a working model of what doesn’t work. Time to build a new box!
The recent decision to retain the Clay St. Cottonwood was in effect building a new box, and a right one to make, and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we as a community can find a solution, rather than firing up a saw.
Jim’s talk about the cost/benefit analysis of rebuilding our boxes, instead of recycling our lollipops, and putting trees that will make it to maturity in those boxes pretty much summed up his visit, and I hope you (you know who you are) were listening! If we repeat the same thing over and over and expect a different result each time, we are, umm, well, you know…