Comments on: ■ Urban trees reveal income inequality https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/ Tue, 02 Jun 2015 14:30:43 +0000 hourly 1 By: J4Zonian https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5132 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:46:40 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5132 Of course this is true; anyone who’s paying attention has known it their whole adulthood at least. But it’s nice to have proof, here and from the sky, on your revisit to the subject. But it’s not that simple.

Some people will use this as a way to say rich people don’t have an outsize impact on Earth, etc. etc. It’s important to keep this understanding in context–that rich people want trees near them; they also want roads, shopping centers and movie theaters with plenty of parking where there used to be trees, often they want to live far from work so they can have trees and shopping centers with plenty of parking where there used to be trees. And they want nice things, many of which are made out of wood. (Of course the US “poor” may actually use more wood, since they get cheap furniture and have to replace it every 5 years, but we’ll get to that.) In any case, that whole combination, along with other factors, means the rich export their deforestation to poor countries. I guess you could say they export their deforestation to poor neighborhoods in their own cities, too, but that’s a different scale of poverty, as we’ll get to. They do that local exporting by living in private developments with private armed guards around their private trees inside their private walls, meanwhile pushing for tax cuts that rob everyone else of the money to have trees near them. The rich do the same on an international scale, too, with trade agreements for example, that rob poor countries’ poor people and then hand them crappy pay for crappy jobs cutting down trees near them (or making them move to where there are some trees left for this week) and taking the trees (not the value-added objects made from them) for their nice things.

And finally, the difference between the US poor and the real poor (not to minimize the hardship of being poor in the US). If you have just 4 things–a bed, a roof, clothes in a closet and food in a refrigerator–you have more than 85% of the people on Earth have. Most of the poor in the US are still among the richest 15% or so of people on Earth, so there are different degrees of having trees and having… not even shrubs. Among the questions we should be asking is How do we get trees to the folks who don’t have them? Or better, how do we stop keeping people from getting and having trees? And food in a refrigerator? and health care, so they can recover completely from falling out of trees? And the best education so they can tell you about their trees and their stomas and xylem and phloem…?

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By: Paul https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5131 Sat, 23 Jun 2012 02:41:29 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5131 If you want trees in all urban sectors, you face two issues. One, subsidizing plantings in poor using public funds from affluent districts seems unlikely given the current attitudes. People don’t their taxes to benefit people they many not like. Two, property rights come into play. Turning street parking into an urban grove isn’t going to fly.

Not that I disagree with this but the value of trees as part of a higher-quality living environment. But when public services like schools are under attack what chances do trees have?

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By: Yacko https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5130 Fri, 22 Jun 2012 16:40:53 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5130 I note most mention street trees. What about homeowner trees and empty lots? Well the empty lots eventually disappear as housing. And poor urban areas carry 5-15% illegal apartments, which adds to parking needs off street. The trees are either gone in backyards or barely surviving at fence lines. A decision by one slum landlord to have an off the books basement apartment, affects generations afterward.

I have personally watched in my neighborhood of maybe 60 acres, the disappearance of about 6 acres of trees total from private land, some large patches, other circumstances a tree at a time, over the course of 30 years. There is no hope.

I myself planted a quarter acre of trees and mixed plants and now I am at the point of selling the land and I have taken down most of the plant matter. Over the course of time you also fight city code which likes things to be 2 to 3 inches high and no more.

For those looking to buck the tide and plant some urban trees but are hesitant due to the time they will take to grow, there are fast growing short lifespan trees. I can recommend northern catalpa, chinese elm, hybrid poplar, various willows including Austrees. After ten years you will have a 20-30 foot tree.

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By: Yacko https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5129 Fri, 22 Jun 2012 16:02:49 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5129 The average fruit you buy at retail has had a hideous cost in time, water and chemicals. Backyard fruit trees that are not pruned, watered in droughts and supported with some form of pest management will yield very little. And that’s all fruits across the board. Cane borers, plum curculios, apple codling moths and more, they are all there even in urban situations.The lack of urban bees and subsequent poor pollination also takes a toll.

People fantasize a cornucopia from a backyard but it anything but. Lotsa sugar equals lotsa pests. Some fruits are so insipid, like elderberries and mulberries, they are not worth planting. The only fruit I have seen do well is jostaberries/gooseberries and they have plenty of large seeds and would be an acquired taste for US gardeners best suited for highly sugared preserves which brings up the aspect of health problems.

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By: Christina Koomen https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5128 Fri, 22 Jun 2012 15:08:41 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5128 If nothing else, this study of the distribution of trees in affluent vs. non-affluent areas underscores the need to better plan for and support green space in all urban sectors. Yes, there are exceptions to this correlation, and yes, there can be challenges, as noted in the other comments. But none of that makes the goal of equitable green space improvements any less worthwhile.

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By: Anonymous https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5127 Sun, 17 Jun 2012 18:43:07 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5127 I can think of some counter examples in DC, the city of my birth. Looking at Google it seems Anacostia has more trees than Dupont Circle.

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By: Sujuan https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5126 Wed, 06 Jun 2012 23:05:41 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5126 I think trees diversity will be better.

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By: Sujuan https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5125 Wed, 06 Jun 2012 23:04:42 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5125 Sometimes, the cost and time they put into fruit trees are more than buying fruits from grocery store.

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By: Sujuan https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5124 Wed, 06 Jun 2012 23:02:53 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5124 I guess most people living in American have relied on air condition so much and so deeply. No matter how hot outdoor, air condition can always make people feel chilly.(except small proportion workers in fields).

Trees do save electric bills but energy cost in America is not high and the saving doesn’t make a significant difference. Then for most people, only AESTHETIC purpose was left. No wonder that tree cover is more typical of demand for luxury goods than necessities.

But trees can still provide cool shade for jogging and bicycling in summer. Even though, trees are not welcome because people worried its root will make surface uneven.

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By: alex https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5123 Tue, 05 Jun 2012 22:46:46 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5123 with the dismantling of California’s CRA’s, this is all the more true. funds for “nice to have” infrastructure (like parks) are increasingly private. so, the amenities stay in the neighborhoods where people have the capacity to pay for them.

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