Monday, June 29, 2009

Terrible news

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about Delaware's trees:

Delaware’s urban tree canopy is well below the national average. The tree cover goal recommended by the nonprofit American Forests, for metropolitan areas east of the Mississippi River, is 40%. The national average is 23%. Since 1990, urban land in Delaware has increased by 14%, leaving only 16% tree canopy cover in Wilmington and 19% in the greater New Castle County metropolitan area.

I would never have believed it. But after all, what do I know? I came here from northern New Jersey, where one town seamlessly runs into another, and the only way you know there has been a change of management is the sign: Welcome to _____________(fill in blank). You'd be lucky to encounter a shrub.

In my ignorance, I had been enjoying the trees. Almost every day I drive down Shipley Rd, for instance, luxuriating in the canopy of green overhead. It is true that some of the houses we first looked at were in places that resembled bomb sites from WWII London. After homing in on North Wilmington, though, the developments we visited had more established trees. We (and Wachovia Bank)are the proud owners of two trees ourselves. It would have been three if the yardmen hadn't mowed down my redbud sapling.

One of the things that attracted us to Delaware was the gently rolling landscape; nothing spectacular in the way of elevation, but green and serene. I was born in Central Ohio, which featured miles and miles of flat land, tempered in the Summer by a merciless sun and in the Winter by winds coming straight over 150 miles of prairie from Canada.

So what are we to do about this relative treelessness?


K T Cat said...

I think you ought to cut down trees in other states. That would make Delaware closer to the national average.

miriam sawyer said...

Good thinking.

Anonymous said...

Glad you asked. You're going to pay add'l tax, of course - for the sake of providing green overhead for future generations, of course. What, do you not like the children?