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Trees in Intentional Community  RSS feed

 
                    
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This pushes the definition of intentional community a bit but it is painful to see around town the complete topping of trees as an acceptable pruning technique so I thought I would lobby for the health and welfare of trees.

Check out plantamnesty.com for classes, planting and pruning info, adopt-a-plant, a referral service to local providers and a don't top trees argument from ardent pro-tree-as-part-of-community people.
 
                    
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Mar 22, 2008 ... Michele Leonard is working to save trees that are growing across the street from her house. The Seattle school district plans to cut down (Seattle Times, Jack Broom).

"These trees are gone come July, and it doesn't matter what we say," she said. "This is the school district, and they get what they want."
More than 80 trees, many of them decades-old evergreens, are slated to be cut down on the Ingraham High School grounds as part of a $24 million renovation project authorized by voters last year.
But Leonard and some of her neighbors, who've found an ally in the Seattle Audubon Society, argue the stand of trees provides a welcome buffer between their homes and the school.
"Right now, I open my backdoor and I look outside and see a forest," said Leonard, who for 10 years has enjoyed the sight of fir, cedar and madrona trees on the northwest corner of the high-school campus. "But that forest is going away."

AND

Jan 6, 2008 ... She's the neighbor who tried to save the historic trees next to her Northwest Seattle home, including the oak planted by Josephine Denny
Environmentalists push $1 million program to save urban trees
By LISA STIFFLER
P-I REPORTER
The shumard oak on a vacant lot in northwest Seattle was planted more than a century ago by Josephine Denny, a daughter of one of the city's founding families. Its trunk measured more than 3 feet across. The owner wanted it axed to make way for a house, even though the tree was on the edge of the property.
Across the lake in Kirkland, two old trees were also tagged to be cut down, squeezed out by development. One was a Western red cedar with drooping branches, a towering presence on the corner of the lot on Market Street. On an opposite corner stood a large old cypress.   
What happened to the trees?
The cedar and cypress are still standing, thanks to Kirkland's tree preservation codes, which rank among the strictest in the region. By flipping his plans around, the developer made space for trees and houses.
The historic oak is now a stump. A neighbor begged the city to save the tree, but the landowner hired an arborist who said the oak -- which can live 500 years -- was "not in a condition that would make it a candidate for retention." A separate arborist called it a "champion" -- one of the best of its kind in the state.
Although the oak was unusual, its loss is a familiar story in Seattle, where officials say that half the tree canopy has disappeared since the 1970s as development increases and smaller homes give way to apartments, townhouses and megahomes.


Saving Trees gets guff for cliche but they are important in ecosystems, communities and permaculture and are a major source of alternative energy that keeps weather moving, earth freezing and thawing, animals fed and sheltered, oxygen clean and moisturized enough for human inhalation, test the environment for toxic over-saturation and a host of smaller less important contributions. Saving trees means considering them as important members of intentional community, treating them with respect and dignity befitting their long lives and preserving their contributions to our homes, happiness and lives.



 
                    
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"What we think of as a weed tree, red alder is a very valuable tree." -see rainyside.com (Another Look at Red Alder) for a great detailed look at what red alder does for the region and why it is a great tree.

Wildcrafting- A russet dye can be made from a decoction of the bark and was used by Native Americans to dye fishing nets so as to make them less visible underwater. Collect dropped or scaled bark, do not strip a tree. It needs its bark to survive the wet climate otherwise rot can set in.


Medicinals - Autoimmune disease:Red Alder bark (Alnus rubra) – acts as a cholagogue and mild laxative; it stimulates hepatic and bowel function. The bark is antibacterial and is indicated for conditions with impaired fat digestion with clay colored stools.
Dose: Tincture (1:5) – 1-2 ml. TID
Tea – 1 tsp. dried bark, 8 oz. water, decoct 10 minutes, steep 1 hour. Take 2 cups per day
 
MJ Solaro
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
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You're absolutely right about saving trees.

Have you read much about Seattle's Urban Forestry plan?
http://www.seattle.gov/environment/trees/

It's a 30 year plan for restoring Seattle's canopy. There is a lot of detail in there about how they want to get there.

One of the interesting stats: 18% of the current trees are hosted on single family residential properties. They have a plan to double this. Also an interesting breakdown of what kinds of trees are most frequently found in the city.

Single family residential property is where the most deforestation has occurred. Apparently to help turn this around they are going to do things like more public services around leaf sweeping, incentives for private tree preservation, and give coupons to nurseries to make it cheap to plant new trees. They'll also have an "exceptional tree" program you can register for.

It will be interesting to see if it can make a difference...
 
                    
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Size: Small tree growing to 8-' tall and 2' in diameter. Short lived.

Leaves: Simple, alternate, deciduous. Ovate to round; 2"-3" in diameter; green above and paler below; edges smooth or with rounded teeth. Petioles long and flat.

Fruit: Cone-shaped capsule with cottony seeds.

Bark: Greenish-white when young. May turn dark and furrowed with age.

Distribution: quaking aspen grows in more states than any other tree. However it is only found in scattered areas of Oregon. It occurs in our upper Cascades and eastward. -Trees of the Pacific Northwest



Aspen stands are good firebreaks, often dropping crown fires in conifer stands to the ground when they reach aspens and even sometimes extinguishing the fire because of the small amount of flammable accumulation. They allow more ground water recharge than do conifer forests and they also play a significant role in protecting against soil erosion. They have been used in restoration of riparian habitats.

Wildlife: Young quaking aspen provides food and habitat for a variety of wildlife: black bear, deer, beaver, porcupine, elk, moose, ruffed grouse and many smaller birds and animals, including small mammals such as mice, voles, shrews, chipmunks, and rabbits. Bark, buds, new sprouts, twigs from the tops of fallen or logged trees, and fallen leaves all are wildlife foods.

Ethnobotanic: Native Americans used Populus bark (including aspen) as a food source. They cut the inner bark into strips, dried and ground it into meal to be mixed with other starches for bread or mush. Catkins were eaten raw, and the cambium was eaten raw or in a soup. -gardenguides.com

 
Cate Weaver
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Just picked up some acorn under two Shumard Oak specimens identified by the city forester!  Can't wait to see if they will grow on my lot.  The parent trees are just lovely!  I already have a Shingle Oak and a Northern Red Oak going but, IMHO, you can't have too many oak trees!
 
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