March 31, 2017
Our neighborhood once had a profusion of large trees in private yards and along the streets. But in the past ten years, many of Eastlake’s large trees have been cut down or damaged in their prime.
This is despite growing evidence that large trees are needed to reverse global warming, to preserve songbirds and birds of prey, and to protect the physical and psychological health of those who live or work in Eastlake. Trees supply clean air, slope stability, shade, beauty, and noise insulation. They grace our public spaces, and can greatly increase the value of private property.
Contrary to City plans and claims to be reversing decades of lost tree cover, the actual policies have the exact opposite impact, dooming many large trees and making them impossible to replace except by much smaller ones. Most trees that are being planted will always stay small, and can’t make up for the loss of large trees and a failure to plant trees that will become large.
An aware and organized public can improve some of these policies. Property owners will be less likely to remove or damage a tree if they know more about its benefits. You can help ECC’s tree conservation efforts by doing an inventory of those in your yard, on your block, in a park, or anywhere else in the neighborhood. See the tree page on the ECC web site, http://eastlakeseattle.org, for the inventory form and instructions, including books and web sites for help in identifying and measuring trees. For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 322-5463.