Arthur Plotnik writes in The Urban Tree Book:
…most tree species are out of their element in the urban scene. Between pollutants, drought, compacted soil, poor drainage, salt spray, bugs, dogs, heat, construction, vibrations, vandalism, and opportunistic diseases, many trees simply give up the ghost.
On my worst days, I can’t tell if Plotnik is talking about trees or citybillies.
There’s no doubt about it: trees have it tough here in the city, no thanks to that long list of obstacles quoted above.
I’d add two more to the list.
The first would be solitary confinement. Only on a city street or a mall parking lot will you see trees plotted out in perfect alignment, each one confined to a small quarter of a sidewalk square, every one equally spaced between the next one down the block. Trees don’t grow like that in the wild, and for good reason. Healthy competition among trees encourages healthy trees.
The second obstacle is even more heartbreaking, far more dangerous and damn near impossible to control or change…and it originates from one of the most sinister, lifeless settings you’ll ever find on this spaceship Earth: a committee.