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Miesian Corners

Urban Forestry

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Found this article while doing some research for school. Deals with Toronto, but it has valuable information for most any urban setting.

How are we faring as a city in relation to street trees? The Myers Park canopy has reached its maturity and will start to die off fairly soon. The average life span for a willow oak is between 80 and 90 years. The Queens Road West canopy was planted in 1930. Should we begin to replant sections now, or wait for a huge die off?

As far as newly planted areas of the city, I am dumbfounded at the city's choices for trees. Why plant elms, oaks and maples directly under an above ground utility ROW (look at Wilkinson Blvd sometime)? It only means that the tree will eventually get hacked in half. Further, are we to become a city of <ugh> Bradford Pears, possibly the most over used ornamental in North America?

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yeah, i notice that not too many people refer to charlotte as the "city of trees" as they once did. what has me perplexed is how many trees the city has been taking down WITHOUT replanting. a year or so ago the city cut down all trees on freedom drive... i never understood that, they were nice, mature trees and freedom drive needs all the beautification it can get.

all my neighbors have been going tree cutting down crazy... on my block 2 huge, healthy oaks downed... plus to full flowering trees pruned to the point of butchering. also i noticed on central ave., near eastland, they cut down @ least 1/2 dozen big oaks... i am assuming that was for some kind of construction project @ the mall?

what would be some nice species of tree to plant in charlotte? i intend to put some in my yard soon, any recommendations?

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^It depends on where you want to plant and how fast-growing tree you want. Willow Oaks are good street trees. They are drought and disease resistant, handle smog and ground pollution quite well, and live for a long time. Their downside is that they grow slowly, have annoyingly small leaves that are impossible to rake in the fall and they have no fall color. Ginkos are pretty cool, but again, slow-growing (and NEVER plant the female...fruit smells like a cross between vomit and parmesan cheese). The maple is probably the best for maturing faster, provides good shade, and gives beautiful fall color.

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Willow Oaks are beautiful trees. I have a number of 100 ft tall ones in my back yard. However the downside to planting them in this area these days are they are subject to that catapiller that eats all the leaves on them. It's not so much of an issue on the trees where I live, but it is a definate problem in some neighborhoods in CLT. (that is why you see those black sticky bands on trees) I've seen them strip a young tree bare.

Beyond the willow oak, my advice is to stick to hardwoods and stay away from ornamentals like bradford pears. Maples are a good choice, but stay away from siver maples. Willow trees are nice, but don't plant them near your house. The roots will undermind your foundation.

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I like that city has an Arborist. That was an impressive fact to me when I was moving here.

As for Queen's Road West, and throughout Myer's Park, they have been replanting some trees over time.

I'm not so sure I understood trees to have a lifespan. I kind of thought they were indefinite as long as they are taken care of. It will definitely be a sad day in Charlotte if Queen's Road West goes bare.

So are street trees in Charlotte willow oaks? Does that put us at risk of a willow oak disease in the future, like Dutch Elm disease decimated the trees in New England?

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Dutch elm disease decimated all of the elm trees in the USA as well. The few elm trees that exist here now are actually a hybrid that was bred to resist the disease.

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Dutch elm disease decimated all of the elm trees in the USA as well. The few elm trees that exist here now are actually a hybrid that was bred to resist the disease.

I have been waiting on you to post for the last 15 minutes metro. I was wanting to see some fireworks go off when you hit 10K. :P

A2

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Willow oaks are very fast growing trees, they average around 2-3 feet per year up till age 40 or so. There is a fungicidle disease sweeping through the U.S. currently that is a type of phythoptera and is absolutley destroying oaks.

If you're looking for oak species, the most resistant, and in my opinion, the most beautiful oak tree is a hybrid white/bur, as found from Morse nursery: http://www.morsenursery.com/index.php?cPath=29&pID=757

Personally, I love American Chestnuts... they will probably die though if you plant them. In about five years there will be blight-resistant trees and you should be able to plant one in your yard then. They used to grow up to 300 feet tall in the Appalachian mountains.

Japanese Zelkova is probably the best street tree that we have now as a replacement for the American Elm. Although there is an American Elm strain called the Princeton Elm which has been selectively planted in Washington D.C. and is one of the most beautiful trees I've seen. Here's a link that shows a picture of the elms planted a few years ago: http://www.americanelm.com/larger_trees.html

We really do need to figure out a way to make the stupid people in charge of that kind of thing realize that they either need to plant the power lines in the ground or not plant such huge trees under the power lines for the future butchering that awaits them.

Hope that helps...

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I remember reading a David Walters article in Creative Loafing a few years back warning of the coming balding of Charlotte through the eventual loss of these oaks. It seems like we are in for a bald spell whether we like it or not. Even if we give these trees the benefit of the doubt and say they will last until 2020, and even if we went out tomorrow and planted new trees along all of these corridors (which we know won

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Remember the average Myers Park resident today, the one doing the tear downs/McMansion replacement, have few ties to the community and probably doesn't care. I don't think they plan to be in the houses more than a few years.

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I know that DCDA (Dilworth) subsidizes tree plantings. They have to be in the public ROW planting strip, and an existing tree can't be removed, but they offer a decently sized tree for $80.

Also, Camden Properties gave Dilworth 75 large caliber trees as part of the concessions for Camden (Summit) Dilworth.....I believe these trees are currently being planted.

If I'm not mistaken, Elizabeth also offers the subsidized tree program once a year or once every other year. I'm not sure if Myers Park or Eastover are doing anything, but I doubt it since their neighborhood associations are comparatively weaker.

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^thanks for all the info. i planted 4 trees a 1 year 1/2 ago. unfortunately 2 of them were bradford pears... @ the time i didn't know any better. the other 2 i planted were leyland cyprus, which i love b/c of the way they look and their evergreeness. so, what types of evergreens would one recommend? i will be looking into planting a willow oak this year... i do like the way they look and i don't really rake.

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Leyland cypress are probably one of the best evergreens to plant around here. Japanese Red Pine and Cedar of Lebannon are very expensive, but beautiful trees and will do fairly well in this area. If you want a huge evergreen, the Bald Cypress is a really beautiful tree... it requires a tremendous amount of water though.

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Leyland cypress are probably one of the best evergreens to plant around here. Japanese Red Pine and Cedar of Lebannon are very expensive, but beautiful trees and will do fairly well in this area. If you want a huge evergreen, the Bald Cypress is a really beautiful tree... it requires a tremendous amount of water though.

cool, thanks. since it seems there are some green thumbs on UP, i have to ask about bamboo. i have been toying with idea of planting some as a barrier effect (fence). does anyone have some suggestions on the matter? what family of bamboo would i go with? or a bigger question is - should we be planting this foreign plant in the south to begin with? is bamboo the next kudzu?

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cool, thanks. since it seems there are some green thumbs on UP, i have to ask about bamboo. i have been toying with idea of planting some as a barrier effect (fence). does anyone have some suggestions on the matter? what family of bamboo would i go with? or a bigger question is - should we be planting this foreign plant in the south to begin with? is bamboo the next kudzu?

DON'T DO IT!!!!! Seriously. If you want it at all, do it in containers...and even then, be careful. The shoots can still go through the drain hole in the bottom of a pot and come up somewhere else in the yard. It is a beautiful screen and is hardy, but once it takes over, its nearly impossible to contain or get rid of.

If you have a big enough yard, my favorite evergreen is a deodar cedar. They are incredibly graceful trees (for a good example, there is a grove of them in the southeast quadrant of the South Blvd Connector overpass @ the Belk Freeway). They're also found in a good many yards in Myers Park and on Belvedere Ave. in Midwood.

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Oh please please please DO NOT PLANT BAMBOO... it is incredibly invasive. Once you plant it you'll like it for a while, then you'll start to not like it, then you'll hate and will absolutely not be able to get rid of it. If you want a barrier for an open field, hybrid poplars are pretty good for a wind break. Leyland cypress are actually very good barrier if you plant them about 4-5 feet apart.

Again, on the bamboo... it's cool to look at, I think it's a beautiful tree species. But it doesn't belong here in the piedmont. If you don't have too much space that you're trying to have a barrier for, try a fence and plant Honeysuckle, or blackberries, blueberries, or mulberries (if you like birds). Bamboo has a NIMBY effect for your neighbors.

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It is interesting to me that South Charlotte seems to have a lot of tree cover, at least as it appears from the satellite. It seems more covered than some other cities in NC, at least from that satellite image.

http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=...1&scene=1905461

That's b/c so much of it is residential. The area of south Charlotte w/ the least treecover is obviously SouthPark. The South Blvd/I-77 corridor an the Indy corridor are obviously packed with businesses and the northwest side of town and a lot of the I-85 corridor is primarily industrial area

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But surely there are areas in other metros of NC that have similar type development as South Charlotte.

As to whether Charlotte is doing a good job at urban forestry, the sat images of South Charlotte appear to support a yes answer.

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yeah. And it's important to keep in mind the high res sat images (once you zoom in further) were taken in winter or at a time there was less green as opposed to the lower res

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Yeah, I noticed that. But compare Charlotte at the same low res to other cities nearby. It looks greener to me.

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