Member since Jun 28, 2012

Recent Comments

Re: “Relocation Explored for Doomed Tree at Maggie Walker Memorial Site

This amazing tree gets younger every time I read about it. The tree is NOT 26 years old; it did not germinate in 1990, it was already about 15 years old when it was planted in the 1980s. And why not publish an interview with an actual expert? Most of the statements about this tree, it's roots, it's value, and the feasibility of moving it, are offered by people who have NO expertise, and no idea what they're talking about.

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by jaelester on 08/29/2016 at 5:48 PM

Re: “Architecture Review: The Maggie Walker Monument Proposals Need Significant Reconsideration

Indeed, the Art Commission has sponsored hearings, and while they have been "carefully choreographed", they've been far from conscientious. There has been no scientific consideration of economic and environmental impact of the Maggie Walker Oak. Not a single Consulting Arborist was hired to appraise the tree or write a statement (many cities and countries require input of a Consulting Arborist). Richmond would rather NOT know the value of this tree, it's contribution, or the impact of removing it. While it still existed, the Urban Forestry Commission opposed this site because it would require the destruction of this rare and valuable tree, recommending instead the vast open space within Abner Clay Park, but the city would have none of it. Furthermore, the fallacy that there is not enough room for the statue AND the tree is obvious when we see that the new design calls for 8 new trees; and I've heard not a single complaint about any of the proposed trees representing racist lynchings. Lastly, you may hold the opinion that "Broad Street doesn’t need more trees", but to say that the few that still exist (the downtown district has fewer trees than any other part of the city, and is losing them quickly) "have outlived their usefulness" is inaccurate. Large trees provide enormous benefits to human health, to the environment, and to the local economy. Small trees provide far less benefit. Eliminating trees might reveal exuberant architecture, but it correlates to economic instability and decline, negative health outcomes, and hardscape degradation due to sun exposure, in studies. Evidence is unambiguous: tree loss is a bad thing, and unnecessarily destroying large native trees in urban areas, especially underserved, economically depressed areas, is tragic... and dare I say, a historically racist practice.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jaelester on 03/14/2016 at 11:08 AM

Re: “Maggie Walker Statue Announced for Broad Street

This article makes no mention of the city's plan to remove a beautiful, healthy, southern Live Oak, worth thousands of dollars, presently located on the site. Thanks to glowing publicity like this, most citizens know nothing about this plan; and most citizens are opposed to removing the tree when they learn about the plan. Let's not ignore this issue. There is more than enough room to KEEP the tree while moving forward with construction. Removing the tree will have a big negative impact on Richmond's downtown.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by jaelester on 12/03/2015 at 9:01 PM

Re: “Maggie Walker Statue Raises Anxiety Over Landmark Tree

The argument of economics and property value should consider the numerous studies of the impact of urban trees on both. Research proves that removal of trees has a very significant negative impact on property value and economic stability, in every case, everywhere it occurs. Science provides a very clear answer.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by jaelester on 12/02/2015 at 1:24 PM

Re: “Skinned Trees No Mistake

I'm immensely happy that Mayor Jones has finally budgeted some money into replacing urban trees, which have been disappearing from our landscape for many years.
TOO LONG we have budgeted only for removing trees that were dead/dying/fallen, and not budgeted anything toward replacing all the trees lost. Thank goodness we have a Mayor who has financially acknowledged, and acted upon, this situation.
While it's true that we can't put back the trees that were removed from this site, we CAN replace the environmental services lost by planting 3-5 small trees for each large tree taken down, which will provide equivalent active biomass, sometimes in as few as 5 years.

Posted by jaelester on 01/24/2013 at 1:51 PM

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