Does anyone else get a painful unsettling feeling in the pit of their stomach when seeing another decades old tree come down in the neighborhood? My heart breaks every time and with every slash of the chainsaws I feel grief settle deeper into my being.
In the recent explosion of new construction in our area, I have seen dozens of huge trees be mercilessly cut down to make way for giant houses. While I know that some species are invasive and some trees are a safety hazard, I find it hard to believe that at least half of these trees couldn’t have been preserved.
We forget that trees take decades upon decades to grow to the size that allows them to provide shade to our yards while housing countless species, from birds to insects and fungi. Newly planted trees are tiny and can hardly sustain any life, let alone shade our houses in a rapidly warming world. Many landscaping companies don’t plant native tree species, furthering the problem. NoVA has very low urban biodiversity which is an issue for ecosystems that are already suffering. So why do we continue to kill our trees?
Can we think twice before chopping down our trees? Can we petition our counties for stricter, more biodiversity-friendly tree removal policies? Can we pressure developers to stop mowing down all vegetation when building anew?