Sunday, May 17, 2009

Demise of an Oak

I was walking my dog along the Natchez bluff this morning when I noticed an oak tree had recently been cut down. I know the city lost many trees during the recent storm, but I don't think this tree was a victim of that, other than possibly losing a few small rotten limbs. The tree trunk and limbs, that lay on the ground, appeared healthy, so was chopping it down absolutely necessary? Wouldn't a simple pruning of the rotten limbs be a more efficient solution to preserving this tree?

I noticed a few weeks ago someone parked under this particular tree, on a Saturday night (I guess while at Bowie's Tavern) and a limb fell through the sun roof, into the car, cracking the front windshield--oops! What bad timing. I hope this wasn't the reason for cutting down this large old oak tree; isn't parking on the bluff illegal?

I also noticed two Mockingbirds sitting on the branches, now laying on the ground, refusing to abandon the oak. If you look closely, you can see the Mockingbird sitting on the tip of the limb:

I know it's sometimes necessary to cut down trees, if severely damaged or rotten, so I hope the city had an appropriate reason. We need to preserve these beautiful oaks on the bluff whenever possible. Trees not only enhance our landscape and provide shade on these blistering summer days, but they help the environment as well. Trees absorb CO2 while emitting oxygen. Trees subdue noise pollution and reduce erosion by storing water and breaking the force of rain that falls. So I hope the city exhausted all options before chopping down this lovely oak.


Gwen said...

Thank you for addressing an issue which needs some attention. I've long been concerned about our beautiful oaks which stand on public property, and that tree, in particular.

I hope this isn't a result of demolition by neglect like that which happened to the Band Hall which stood behind Margaret Martin. For years MDAH and even a local architect urged the city to make repairs to that lovely structure but being there is no penalty for demolition by neglect the city chose to let the building implode. The cost (estimate provided by architect) to shore it up ended being less than the environmental cleanup procedure.

So, yes, one would think that some trimming and care would surely save a lot of these trees. Thanks, Jane.

Elizabeth said...

Great post, thanks.

Carrie said...

The person that parked under the tree was helping with a crawfish boil, a benefit for the Natchez Chamber of Commerce. I was sitting under the tent when the limb fell. I believe the tree may have been rotten.

Jane said...

Carrie, That is so unfortunate for the person who parked under the tree, and hope no one was injured, but I do not think the tree was rotten after looking at the trunk and the limbs. It was very much alive and healthy. I think there may have been a few rotten limbs that should've been trimmed off. I do think this tree could've been saved.

Gwen said...

I've looked at that tree and though not a tree expert I agree with Jane. The loss of that tree is devastating to that part of the bluff. It provided such wonderful shade and ambience. Was it cut down because someone's car got hit by that falling limb?

Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce would consider a project which would generate funds for protecting and caring for our trees. I'm not a member but would be happy to donate.

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