Update on the Oaks Along the Avenue
From Bayou Tree Service, Inc.
As cooling temperatures bring relief to the landscapes and urban forests of the New Orleans area, we can and should reflect upon the tumultuous summer weather that is gradually, and thankfully, dissipating. Our trees have been blistered by unrelenting heat, starved by historical drought, stressed by constant infrastructure improvements, and vexed by myriad conflicts with the public. All of this, along with the uncertainty that accompanies the looming threat of saltwater intrusion, presents a forecast for our historical trees that can begin to feel a touch too holiday-appropriate as we approach spooky season. To put it bluntly, New Orleans’ trees have experienced a summer of unprecedented challenges.
Although these situations have been distressing, I feel confident in the future. New Orleans holds a deeply rooted cultural and historical affection for our trees, an affection that remains at the core of life here for so many of us. Finding common ground in our will to preserve and protect these urban trees, especially our heritage Live Oaks, is the foundation of sound tree care; moreover, I find that with each passing year our cooperation in caring for our urban forests becomes more and more effective. Unprecedented challenges demand unprecedented solutions, and the summer circumstances we have faced this year have forced us to address tree related conflicts in a manner more unified, more committed, and more innovative than ever before. Communication between Bayou Tree Service, Saint Charles Avenue Association, the City of New Orleans, and Private citizens/companies has never been as well coordinated as it is today.
While many of the tree-related headlines this year have focused on the loss of historical trees, it is important to highlight the establishment of new trees and the retention of so many of our historical specimens. Every day, Bayou Tree Service arborists meet with homeowners and private businesses to inspect, maintain, and care for live oaks near or on to the Avenue. We work in close collaboration with City of New Orleans personnel and members of the Saint Charles Avenue Association whenever possible.
Through the St. Charles Avenue Association’s annual commitment to fertilizing the Avenue’s Live Oaks, for instance, Bayou Tree plays an active role in the regular maintenance that is vital to the health and safety of the trees and of the public. Of course, as trees are inevitably lost, replacement is the key to ensuring a flourishing canopy for centuries to come. This past year witnessed the installation of over fifteen newly planted live oaks, and a strong commitment from the city to replace and replant any trees that are lost.
Thanks to the continued efforts of the Saint Charles Avenue Association, we have been able to meet the challenge of this summer and come into the fall with a brighter outlook for the future of our live oaks.
- Scott Harlamert, Bayou Tree Service, Inc.
St. Charles Avenue
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