Fierce love for urban trees

In few other paces do individual trees become so well known and loved as in the city. Many urban trees are given membership within the community. Or, from the trees’ perspective, the membership that they always had is seen and appreciated by people. The particularities of each tree’s form and place is celebrated. A looming death brings both anticipatory grief and zealous care.

This catalpa growing on a street in Chicago’s North Side (Andersonville) has a twisted trunk and bark marked by a long, vertical wound. In winter, the tree might pass for dead. So the human neighbors have pinned the tree with textual and photographic evidence of its vigor. The message: “they tell me you are crooked and I answer…” city workers, do not cut. The other message: we people, this tree, this place; we belong.

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5 thoughts on “Fierce love for urban trees

  1. Sunny Thompson

    I have so often wished that we humans could create a colored ribbon to tie around trees that we love . Might we start a project that could grow to all of our country … and beyond ? Can you help start us off David with your followers ??

  2. David S Johnson

    Whew! When I first saw the pics I thought they were ‘Missing Tree’ posters. I’m happy to see the citizens on the other side of the concrete are helping their non-English-speaking botanical neighbors.

  3. john gerber

    yes, concur – notice certain trees everyday – worry about their health in our changing clime – get sick when I see big trees getting cut for new construction or inconvenience – thank you, great post!


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