A Tale of Two Neighborhoods: The value of Shade Trees



shutterstock_46483570When I was a kid I lived in walking distance of two neighborhoods. Both were made up of modest single family homes and were probably built around the same time. The builder in one neighborhood planted maple trees in every yard. I drove through it just the other day in a fit of nostalgia. The trees are fully grown now and cast a pleasant shade along the street and create a quiet pocket right off noisy Capital Boulevard. In the other neighborhood, the fellow in charge of grounds loved to mow, and kept the entire development neatly sheared every week. Aunt Martha would praise his diligence every time she drove by. I guess he didn’t want any trees in his way. For whatever reason, no trees were planted throughout the neighborhood so only a few sprang up accidentally and were allowed to stay. Today the small houses are bare to the beating sun and the roar of Capital Boulevard washes over them unchecked.

The importance of trees to individual homes and to the neighborhood cannot be overstated. A scientist could calculate the amount of carbon dioxide being bound up and the temperature difference created by the shade of those maples. An artist could render the fiery fall color. You can create these effects for your own neighborhood. The new trees you plant today will in just a few years create cool shady walkways and shelter the play of generations to come.