a somewhat great wind

Greg Fallis

Back in the late 1970s the city planted around three dozen linden trees in a downtown park. Planted--that's the key term. They didn't grow there naturally. An urban planner put them there. An urban planner who knew cities needed greenspace, but didn't have a fucking clue about trees.

If you plant a tree too deep, the root mass remains stunted. The roots don't grow as extensively. And in a high wind, the roots that would normally keep the tree sturdy in the ground just aren't there. And the tree falls.

In this case, several trees fell during a recent storm. The rest were clearly unstable. So they had to be cut down. Three dozen beautiful Linden trees, all gone. All the birds nests, all the squirrels nests, all the shade, all the greenery--all gone.

I'd like to blame that urban planner, but the sad fact is very few urban planners in the 70s understood the problem. Trees all over the U.S. are having the same problem--falling over in high winds. It seems it takes a few decades for the problem to reveal itself.

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