Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Trees in the City

Market Square through the trees on the south end of the square

Green space in a city adds immensely to the pleasure of living there. It breaks up the "concrete jungle" feeling and is quite soothing to encounter. I remember how happy I was to see very large trees growing from a ledge on a building in New York City or how nice it was when we left the desert in Arizona and entered the area around Flagstaff and saw some green.

Krutch Park and the southern portion of Market Square contain most of our mature urban trees in the center city. There is a pretty good stand of trees to the west of the 100 block, as well. The city has to maintain the trees that are scattered about, looking to trim those which pose a danger or replace those that are struggling in the spots designated to support them.

Recently planted tree on Market Square

Apparently life is hard for an urban tree. I would guess a spot for roots to develop might be an issue. Depending on where they are planted, they might also be sheltered from some of the rainfall, which can't be good for a tree. The compacting of the earth around them can also be harmful. So, it's not unusual for trees to need to be replaced and that's what has happened on Market Square recently.

Recently planted tree with tractor on Market Square, Knoxville 2012

I'd mentioned before when one of them disappeared. I hadn't noticed that it was struggling, but that seems to be the case. So we have three new trees on Market Square as of this past weekend. They are Myrimar Zelkova trees which are apparently similar to, but hardier than the Maples typically planted in the area. Trees were also planted this winter in the wells on the 100 block, so that should make Knoxville's prettiest block even more so.

What an urban tree can look like - with a Mercedes to help out

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At March 7, 2012 at 9:57 AM , Blogger John in Knoxville said...

It is appalling that not too long ago, the city planners wanted to remove the trees in south Market Square to "improve sight lines". I miss the trees that used to line Market St. down near the federal courthouse. From my office window I can see not only the trees on the square and those in Krutch park, but also trees lining Union, trees around the fire station and the L &N, a nice magnolia next to the Hilton, some tall ones near the library, and some down Clinch. We really ought to be proud of the trees that we have in our compact downtown.

At March 7, 2012 at 12:17 PM , Blogger tthurman said...

Fortunately up our way, Summit and Walnut, we have a good stand of trees. Recent storms have got a few of them, as well as the drought from a couple/few years ago, but for the most part everything's good.

At March 7, 2012 at 12:44 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

I wish we had more Magnolia trees in the city. There are some really beautiful ones, but I'd like to see some in the heavily populated areas.

At March 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

John, I don't know whether to continue to be impressed with what you know about the city or to hate you for being able to work downtown and have such a view!
Mr. T., that goes for you, too. You guys have any openings for an aging blogger?
Andrea, Magnolia trees would be lovely, but they are sort of messy and kill the grass around them, don't they? Still, I'm a pretty southern guy, so I love magnolias.

At March 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

We have several Magnolias back home in Crossville and we never had a problem with them killing the grass. Maybe a specific type of Magnolia will do that? I've never heard that before so I don't know.


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