Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One more summer gone, many tree years gone, Winter's Respite

There remain a number of trees to cut down after the terrible loss we had this past year with beetles in our pines. Based on what I saw, the 1000+ trees that had to be removed from public areas along roads, paths, parks and medians, most of the trees were older than 10 years. Many were 30+ years old. Let's just say conservatively, they were each ten years old on the average. That would present us with a 10000-year tree-year growth loss. I could not say what number of tree years we have in our forest, but it is a very very large number, so the percentage of loss remains fairly low. Yet intuitively, none of us can rest peacefully with the results. The primary reason we must not just write this off is the mere fact that there is a forecast for ensuing years of continuing and even worse drought. Then too, we lost a large number of trees in 2008 to the hurricane. The combined two events raise our alarm to a higher level than the norm.

How are we going to deal with rain shortages, water conservation and preserving our trees at the same time? We must put some financial resources into our future. If this year is only a taste of the future, we should be doing something about it and not just let nature take its own natural course. The one valued commodity that we have, unique from other communities, is our large trees. Without them, we are just another large subdivision on the outskirts of Houston - waterway or not, parks or not, nice homes or not. Nothing really matters except our trees.