First they came for the ginkgo trees and I did nothing. Then there was a rumor that the hundreds of years old oak tree  further down the street would be next to go. I wondered who was making decisions to take down trees of historical and biological significance along Brown Street. Were the decisions made lightly?

I guess if you spend a million dollars painting a yellow brick building to make it look like a red brick building you want to show it off and not be screened by trees. Or, maybe it was the fact that some ginkgo trees drop nuts with a foul smell in the fall. There are plenty of ginkgo trees in the area, how will a few be missed?

Cutting down trees is always controversial unless they are grown specifically for paper. The power companies don’t like them messing up their lines. Plumbers don’t like them messing up sewers.  The insurance companies want to take them down before they fall on a house. There are good reasons for thinking about taking down trees.

The inherent right of the trees may have no meaning but what about the historical and biological significance of mature trees?

John Patterson, founder of NCR, made special efforts to landscape the old NCR buildings and chose ginkgo trees for their uniqueness and color. The ginkgo trees were part of that legacy. Some call ginkgo trees “living fossils” because they have been around for thousands of years. They are considered one of the oldest surviving species and can live 1,000 years.

In some cultures these facts would be taken into consideration before making a decision to destroy a ginkgo tree.

Now that oak tree is another story. It is a magnificent tree standing all alone, unique in its size and shape. NCR may have built around it and people have no doubt gathered under its shade for over 100 years. It deserves a special place on Brown Street with space around it for picnicking and shelter from the sun! But, alas, it appears it just does not fit in…rather put in another ornamental pear, something that won’t get too big and hide the red brick building.

About paaron1

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  1. rj says:

    It is unfortunate about both the ginkoes and the oak. Are you an SM-cum-environemental-activist in the making? Gonna lie prostrate in front of the bulldozers? a la the brothers once did in NYC at or near the UN?

    I’m wondering if in addition to this blog you have expressed your opinion on the trees to the admin in a more direct manner of communication?

    (You be happy to hear that Wooster has a $280,000,000 endowment for care of the trees on campus.)

    BTW – On an unrelated topic, that letter we discussed that you asked whether I had sent will not be forthcoming. Reasons to be elaborated on in person. There are reasons.

    Still waiting to hear if you’ll be joining us in late July. I hope so. You could do lots of moseying there; very quiet where we’re going, even if not in the actual houses. But, alas, there aren’t many trees there.

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