Now that it is springtime, most of us are enjoying the early flowering trees and bushes - in particular, the cherry and plum trees, dogwoods and magnolias, at least in the Northeast part of the U.S. If I mention "cherry trees" most of you will smile sweetly with love.
I, the other hand, have grown to hate them!
The problem is that no one plants "real" shade trees anymore. We plant these cute little ornamental flowering trees. They are cheap, small and plentiful. They look good and don't take up too much space in a property. But they are really just glorified bushes. They are not trees and our planet desparately needs to replace its trees which provide shade and oxygen in an increasingly warm and toxic planet. The latest trend in industrial parks, parking lots, municipal streets, store properties and residential properties is to plant one or two ornamental trees. This is, in my opinion, a huge mistake and, I predict, most urban and suburban areas will soon only have these tiny ornamental flowering trees and all the other larger trees will disappear. Our urban and suburban areas will begin to bake in our growing planetary heat. We will have less oxygen to breathe without our giant shade trees like the oak, beech, maple, elm, chestnut, and so on. Ornamental trees are virtually the ONLY trees being planted these days. They are the tree of choice for homeowners, shopping mall parking lots, industrial parks, gas stations, small shops, and tree-lined streets. Everywhere you look the large trees are being cut down and if they are replaced at all, they are replaced by these little flowering trees. Why? They are pretty for two weeks in the spring, and, unlike those other pesky big shade trees, ornamental fruit trees are small and don't block the view of the magnificent home or shopping mall store signs we wish to show off. They do not block the view of the corporate building or stores. Trees are annoying because they interfere with our ability to make more money! That's the bottom line.
Ornamental trees are like pretty, little pillows. They look nice for interior decoration, but they have little real value. If you want to sit down some place, you need a real sofa, not a tiny pillow! Shade trees are like a sofa. You can plant little ornamental trees all around the big shade tree and it will make for very pretty decoration, but don't replace the shade trees with ornamental trees. We need our shade and oxygen in the world of global warming!