While walking along James Street, I passed the large maple that is scheduled to fall, to make way for yes, Joni said it, a parking lot.
I noticed something interesting.
Quite a few of those folks working on-site were gathered around this same tree for shade, sitting and standing under its canopy.
You won’t be able to do that with the replacement trees scheduled to be planted in its stead. Not for many years to come and only if we allow them to reach grand heights, their true potential. Maybe the newbies won’t grow so high and wide. Perhaps there’s a new breed of tree in town.
For me, this is a larger question of how we view our trees in general. Some forestry practices demand that all marketable trees be harvested, leaving no elder untouched.
Others choose selective logging, leaving some ancients behind to seed future generations, to preserve an ecosystem.
It seems to me that shopping and city centres choose to clearcut for the most part. They sometimes create single-line nurseries of juveniles who have a lot of growing up to do.
We have to leave the city in order to gape and awe over the tall ones. Thank goodness there are people out there who work diligently to protect these giants else they would be gone too I’m certain.
We shouldn’t have to fight so hard to save them in the first place. They shouldn’t be in the way. They shouldn’t only be segregated and relegated to parks.
While exploring in Chemainus yesterday, I stopped at the plaza on Oak Street. All parking spots in the shadow of buildings were occupied by vehicles. The air conditioned grocery store was full of people seeking respite from the heat. Perhaps the new reality is to find shade and community inside buildings and under umbrellas. Parks will be the museums of the future. Time, and people, will tell.