Charlotte loves its trees (except when they get in the way of an awesome development). But now, the trees are striking back.
– All those gorgeous trees lining Charlotte’s old city neighborhoods — Elizabeth, Dilworth, Myers Park — were planted when those neighborhoods sprang to life between 1895 and 1923. Now, they’re getting old and fragile.
– A Charlotte Observer analysis shows that of the 35,000 street trees in those neighborhoods, only 40% of the trees are in good health.
– In Chantilly, only 12% are healthy.
This isn’t a matter of a few broken limbs. This problem is deadly serious:
– A 9-month-old baby’s skull was fractured in Myers Park when a 50-pound willow oak limb snapped and fell on her. The baby recovered; the tree is getting cut down.
– A tree fell on East Boulevard and hit a passing car, leaving the driver a quadriplegic. The city will pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit.
– A woman was killed in 2008 when a tree on East Boulevard fell on her car. The city paid $975,000 in that lawsuit.
– Just yesterday, two huge trees fell on a Dilworth property, crushing the house and making it too dangerous to live in.
Our love/hate relationship with our trees
— Charlotte NC News (@NewsCharlotteNC) April 21, 2014
Tree I love! #charlotte #fall #myerspark A photo posted by angelamessier (@angelamessier) on Nov 23, 2013 at 9:54am PST
Third walk in a row I’ve come home with a canker-worm in my shirt. Ewwww…. Nonetheless, I still love Charlotte in the spring!
— Sarah Bradley (@SarahBradleyCLT) March 24, 2012
— Bren (@BG_garden) November 10, 2013
The Observer did a cool graphic on the health of trees throughout Charlotte. Check it out to see how your part of town is faring.
Not to sound all responsible and home-ownerish, but it’s important to inspect your big trees: Are mushrooms growing around their base? (sign of decay) Big cracks? Dead limbs? Call an arborist if you’re worried.
Photos: Davie Hinshaw / Charlotte Observer