Trees are amazing organisms that support a multitude of life. A mature native oak can support 500 other species of living things. Birds are in trouble because we humans plant too many non natives/ornamentals. For example, the non native Bradford pear supports no insect species, consequently, no birds.
It is common to see a human felling a big tree just to enlarge an eco-unfriendly grass lawn or a massive asphalt/concrete-laden development, be it condominiums, parking lots, and/or a mall. Unfortunately, some of us last August experienced building damage from trees felled by . It is important to know tree type and soil citing before cutting a tree out of fear that it may fall in the future. Trees that survived the 1932 class 4 hurricane have been unnecessarily cut. Obviously, sometimes there are good reasons such as disease and/or decay but….
Every tree counts! Did you know this about trees? Trees cut utility costs: A young healthy tree has the cooling effect of 10 room-size air conditioners running 20 hours a day. Trees clean the air: In one year, an acre of trees can absorb as much carbon as is produced by a car driven up to 8,700 miles. Trees increase the value of your home: Trees planted around your home can increase its value by up to 15% or more and can serve as screens. Trees clean our rivers and streams by holding the soil in place, and by reducing polluted runoff into our waterways. Trees reduce stress: When people look at trees, their blood pressure improves and their muscles relax. Planting and caring for trees can be a great family and community building activity; and trees are an investment in our community.
Although a property owner may believe s/he should be completely free to do whatever they please on their land, a tree is a living thing that benefits many others beyond the confines of that property. Just as painting one’s house with orange polka dots and/or leaving mounds of trash in the front yard would violate a town ordinance due to its impact on the neighbors and passer-bys, loss of a majestic 100 year old tree is detrimental to many, yet often without public consequences in this town, unlike many towns in Southwestern CT, and in the Southern and Western USA.
–Shirley McCarthy, Branford Community Forest Commission Chair and Susan G. Clark.