A call to make downtown trees a priority

Dear Editor,
One of the most highly visible “jewels” of Clarkston has been the arching canopy of majestic mature trees shading the area, particularly on Main Street and Holcomb. It has been my pleasure to walk through those marvels of nature since moving here nearly 50 years ago.
Sadly, I have watched that scene slowly change over time, as those tall hefty spreading trees have died and been replaced by spindly saplings and, even then, infrequently.
The result is the slow, but persistent, loss of the lovely character of our community, as it becomes more open and sporadically populated by “new subdivision” trees which will mature 50 years from now.
This is neglect; it is neglect of a crucial feature which is important to the future of the City of the Village of Clarkston; it will affect us in many ways.
Trees affect the visual appeal of the area; they clean the air we breathe – research has shown a 60 percent reduction in particulates from car exhaust fumes on streets lined with trees.
They reduce noise; they reduce storm water runoff, limiting contaminants reaching our waterways; they increase property values; they contribute to cooling the air; and they reduce wind speed. Go to greenblue.com for more information.
Research over the years has confirmed the immense value and benefits that mature urban trees offer.
And the more mature the tree, the greater the benefits – so it’s critical that trees are planted with mature establishment in mind.
Our tree problem needs attention immediately; it needs to be a priority; the future of our community is at stake!
Please urge our leaders to make the maintenance of our community’s canopy of mature trees a major priority.
Tom Stone
Clarkston