Opinion: Letter to the Editor: A World Without Trees?

Let’s face it. Trees have a tough time. If it’s a choice between an unblocked view, a new highway or a power line, civilization wins. After all, we just let South America destroy an entire rainforest. And we have joined the chopper club by allowing many of our tallest trees to be sold to European trade partners, who destroyed most of their own. A ride thru the newer developments in Montgomery County shows no regard for tree life. Acres and acres of lawns, lawns and more lawns. Some counties are discussing real laws with real enforcement. Frederick County is pushing legislation to require a tree replacement plan for new developments. Other towns show concern about the specific types of replacement trees, those more in line with nature.

As an intelligent community, let’s implement a county tree and landscape law with meaningful enforcement, one with no easy loopholes. All new developments should be required to leave any large older trees intact, especially those with a large trunk. Also, require developers to plant new trees, bushes and plants that support a healthy eco system. To most people, a tree is just a stick. However, certain trees, shrubs and flowers can provide a food source for our winged friends as they forge around for their next meal. For example, trees such as viburnum, Adonis, callicarpa, tulip, poplar, maple, oak, elm and black cherry provide berries for birds. Likewise, bushes and flowers such as purple coneflower will support a variety of birds, bees and butterflies.

Unfortunately, we need trees to live. Any good 7th grade science student with a passing grade knows there is an “oxygen / carbon dioxide cycle.” We breathe in oxygen, breathe out carbon dioxide. Trees take in carbon dioxide, and give us oxygen in return. It’s a cycle that has been going on for ages. As we cut down more trees, we are cutting off our oxygen supply. Our life support system will soon be running on empty. Now is the time to protect our trees. Support laws that require developers to plant trees, bushes and plants that will give back to nature. Laws with real enforcement and no easy loopholes. Only then, we can look at each other with smiles on our faces knowing we have done our best.

Meanwhile, Let’s turn our heads up to the sky and hope the heavens will forgive us for all the damage we have done.

Sean Andrews

Potomac

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