Thursday, May 20, 2010

Charlotte's disappearing tree canopy

A new report says Mecklenburg's tree canopy continues to wither, with the county losing a third of its cover between 1985 and 2008, and Charlotte nearly half.

The latest in a series of analyses based on satellite images shows trees disappearing along the developing Interstate 77 corridor north of Charlotte, in the county’s southern tip and across its suburban fringe.

Click here to view the images and read the full report.

The findings come amid proposed changes to Charlotte's tree ordinance that would make developers preserve more trees on commercial building sites.
Builders, already hammered by the economic slump, have protested the costs of the new rules.

American Forests, the Washington, D.C.-based group the city commissioned for the canopy study, argues that trees carry ecological benefits that more than offset their costs. Trees control stormwater, soak up pollutants, cool the air and store carbon.
- Bruce Henderson


Anonymous said...

From the noozepaper that wanted to destroy old-growth trees along Park Road for an unneeded, much-overpriced sidewalk.

Please decide which side of your mouth you want to use.

You guys are a piece of work.

Anonymous said...

Nothing in this article nor in the report that I could find , addressed canopy loss during Hugo, which was significant.

An earlier article on May 10th briefly mentioned it.

While I agree that developers are allowed too much of a free hand to clear-cut tracts of land, city and county governments are ultimately to blame because they allow it.

Jennifer Roberts looks as if she's having a Big O everytime she annouces a few acres of greenway have been donated to the County, but how about putting some of your zeal into strengthening the County tree ordinace.

Also, th first post on this thread hit the nail square on the head!

barkomomma said...

This makes at least the 3rd time this dead horse has been beaten by the O in less than a month.

(s)NOOZE-paper, indeed!

Anonymous said...

Let's see, since 1985 the city's population has grown from 350,000 people to nearly 700,000 people. That means that more houses, schools, roads and the commercial space and infrastructure that comes with that have had to be built. That means quite a few trees had to be torn down to accommodate all these people moving in. So SURPRISE, we have less trees now than we did 25 years ago! What did some people think, we are all going to live in treehouses or something? Another thing worth noting. When you fly into Charlotte next time, look out the window and compare how much tree coverage Charlotte has compared to Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, LA, or just about any other metropolitan area. It pretty much looks like a downtown skyline surrounded by nothing but trees. This article is typical Observer/Mary Newsome whining of 'We want to be a big city...but wait...we want to stay rural too!' Sorry guys, you can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Bruce Henderson, Let's all save the trees and quit buying newpapers. What do you say Bruce, you spruce.

Anonymous said...

I hate trees. Storms come through here and they get struck by lightning and fall over your house or car. Come spring and they bring pollen and allergies. In the fall you have to work harder to keep your lawn and rake up all the leaves or pine straw. Try to sleep at night and some birds are making calls for some reason at 3 am in the morning and the sun is nowhere in sight. Not to mention all the bugs, spiders, and worms that reside there and sneak into your house at night.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if housing developments didn't clear cut huge amount of acreage, this wouldn't be an issue. I actually live in a neighborhood where the developers actually left a large amount of old growth trees that are a part of everybody's yards. This should be standard practice.

Anonymous said...

350,000 to 700,000 in population? Is any of that due to extending city limits? That won't "use up" existing canopy very much. ALSO, what we need to do is redevelop the exsisting abandonded areas and not allow new development UNTIL this abandonded stuff is "used", or bulldozed (by the owners, not the city/county) and "greened" over, even residential property. Builders can remodel as well as build new, right?

Anonymous said...

Cut all the trees down. Who cares. There are still way too many.

If the city had looked like treeless Dallas or Miami during Hugo there would be have been no damages to any homes.

Unfortunately when theres no natural scenery like water or mountains all you can have is a bunch of overgrown monster pain in the butt oak trees as a substitute.