Felling street trees

We’ve had scrappy snow, rain, snow, rain and? now we have ice. Just to add to the misery, the city guys are about to cut down a Norway maple. Huge bloody ancient thing that almost demolished the neighbour’s house in an earlier storm. It’s got to go, but my heart is breaking as our canopy slowly dies. ?


We’ve lost two major Chestnuts, now this. The light quality in my front garden will change completely. I’ll be getting a lot more sun pouring in here. That’s nice, but it’s our streetscape I’m worried about. ?We’re in an older part of town and part of its glory is the vaulted tree cover that makes the street an oasis in summer, a glory in autumn with blazes of colour from silver maples, sugar maples and one dopey lilac silk tree.


The latter was once pushed by the city. It’s a Canadian development and not a good one. ?Prone to disease and sensitive to pollution it was not well tested as a city tree. ?The lilacs come out late and have a brown stain to them that’s really?unattractive. The shape is boring.?


The list the city gives out from which you can choose your tree is really wonderful. And they are putting more and more native trees on it. This is great but I think the condition of our air, the lack of funds for maintenance has taken us beyond that. We need trees that will stand up to the destructive environment we have created for them.


Gingko biloba would be my choice. ?The male version because apparently the female smells when in heat, I mean in flower—the fruit decays in a particularly unpleasant way. The fan-shaped leaves are magnificent. This is the tree that was planted all over Japan after the dropping of the Atomic Bomb and they survived.


Gingkos were once native to this continent but that was before the continents split up and it migrated to Asia. I’ve watched a gingko across the street turn into a beauty. The shape is more vase than umbrella. It’s not that slow a grower as it is reputed to be and the leaves are worth it on any account. ?It will survive air pollution which has now become a part of our lives.


They also seem to be able to deal with lack of water, ?proximity of cars and anything else the city dishes out.

I have to nip down the street now and find out what they are replacing the old Norway with. ??