The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 17, 2013

Plant hardwoods for future

NORMAN — Norman has lost thousands of trees in the past decade. Ice storms, wildfires, tornadoes, drought and disease have claimed many of the stately hardwoods that have shaded our community since its birth.

Efforts to reforest our city and replace those trees have not gone unnoticed. Norman has once again been named a 2012 Tree City USA by the Arbor Foundation. It’s the 11th year for the national designation.

Norman achieved the recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, tree-care ordinance, annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The city itself can plant and care for trees but individuals also have a stake here. Start by planting the right tree. Species such as birches, some maples like Silver Maple, and especially Bradford pears, are fast growing but they are weak wooded.

Good, hardy shade trees that have a good track record for toughness and seem to adapt to our climate well are Chinese Pistache, Shantung Maple, Kentucky Coffee tree, Bur Oak, Bald Cypress, Chinkapin Oak, Live Oak, American Elm and Lacebark Elm, among others.

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