This week, British blogger Caro Ness wrote a wonderful poem about a Chestnut tree. (most of our chestnuts in the States have been destroyed by a blight - but that's a story for another day).
Caro, you inspired me to write about neighborhood trees in my Westover, and nearby Binghamton, in upstate New York.
Neighborhood trees are a blessing to the urban neighborhood, providing shade, food for wildlife, and beauty. They reduce air pollution, provide wind breaks, save energy and, in some cases provide food for humans. As such, they are a good topic for a Sustainable Saturday.
Fortunately for this tree, it didn't live in nearby Binghamton. But the one below does live in Binghamton.
Can you imagine a scenic street such as Riverside Drive lined with butchered trees like this? And now, the butchering is spreading to nearby neighborhoods, despite public outcry.
NYSEG, the local electric utility that everyone loves to hate, has the right to trim trees to avoid problems with power lines. I won't ask the obvious "why were these type of trees planted under power lines to begin with?" So, they try to prune and the trees are fatally tangled with the powerlines. And, these are NYSEG employees not tree pruning experts. Can't NYSEG afford to hire someone knowledgeable to oversee this operation? Don't they make enough off we the people who pay some of the highest electric rates in the country?
Can you just imagine what would happen if we get a snow before leaves are off the tree? The weakened infrastructure of that tree is not going to take the weight too well.
Binghamton homeowners aren't taking the weight of their butchered trees too well, either.
If you have a nice, shady tree - enjoy it, enjoy its benefits and be grateful you don't live in Binghamton, New York.