Listen up tree fans!
“Lime Trees in Hillsborough Park, Sheffield” image credit: sixxsix on Panoramio
I recently talked to you about the tree mapping project in Melbourne, Australia that has led to many trees receiving letters of love; sadly trees in British cities don’t always get the same amount of affection, but experts in urban forests say this needs to change if we are to save our cities.
Trees are not just a visual benefit to cities, they also assist in cutting pollution, increasing land value and can even make us feel younger!
Researchers in Toronto found that residents on tree-lined streets in the city can expect to see health benefits equivalent to being seven years younger or a $10,000 a year salary increase. US Scientists have even found a correlation between a dense urban tree population and fewer low-weight births.
It is common knowledge amongst estate agents that houses in leafy streets sell considerably better and are more valuable than those with less foliage. Studies from Portland, Oregon showed that streets lined with trees increased house prices by $1.35bn overall, with an additional $15.3m raised in property taxes.
Despite all this tree’mendous positivity for urban greenery across the pond, trees in British cities are being more and more neglected, due to the lack of government support or any national department to look after them.
More than 10,000 residents in Sheffield have come together to urge the local council to halt its roadside felling, with a dispute about 11 particularly important lime trees on Rustlings Road at the centre of the debate.
With more than 2 million trees within the borough, Sheffield claims to be the leafiest industrial city in Western Europe. Unfortunately, this hasn’t previously stopped councillors making plans to prune or remove important urban trees, with a single aim of saving cash rather than seeing the wider climate, health and wealth benefits trees are capable of affording towns and cities.
Fortunately, Sheffield city council has made plans to establish a “tree forum” with experts and residents that will discuss the city’s tree strategy next March. This may not save the 11 lime trees which are still earmarked for felling, but it could save many other of Sheffield’s important trees.
This particular deTerra Diarist is very fond of trees in urban spaces, and, well, any trees for that matter. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the sustainable solid wood kitchens that deTerra is so proud of.
Ta ta for now,
The deTerra Diarist