Friday, May 23, 2008

tough love

red oak

I’m taking a trowel to work this morning, because yesterday I spotted a series of trees that live alongside our building that are dangerously mulched. With my trowel I will reorganize their high mounds of bark, presently packed tight against the tree trunks, into a donut shapes that expose the trunks to the air.

Why? Because the Treekeepers told me to.

I met three of the Treekeepers last weekend during a Chicago Places & Spaces tour of Peanut Park -- a sweet little appendix to Grant Park that’s tucked alongside Lakeshore Drive within sight of Oprah’s building.

Treekeepers are “volunteers who have become certified by Openlands to give trees the care and maintenance they need to thrive in the urban forest.” And they train others, in workshops around the city of Chicago, in how to care for trees right.


When it comes to trees they know what’s what, and although they’re not vigilant in their evangelism I came away converted; came away wanting to carry a pruner in a holster around my waist, the way they did, pulling it out in an instant when they spotted a tree that had been poorly pruned, setting injustice right like Zorro did with a quick zip zip zip -- trimming the stub down to the nub so the tree could better heal and grow.

Like a parent placing a band aid where it needed to be and sealing it with a kiss.

linden leaf


anniemcq said...

Oooooh - we have a couple trees that could use that! Pack those pruners in your suitcase and come out here. If not for me, do it for my trees!

Kari said...

I love this. What a treasure you are.

Lolabola* said...

yes treasure is the perfect word.

suttonhoo said...

you guys to my self-esteem are like butter to a bagel. :)

I kiss you all!

Anonymous said...

This is cool. A lot of trees are really we'll suited for the city, since the abundant asphault pushes more water to the trees. Did they say anything about soil compaction?


suttonhoo said...

no talk of compaction, but there was plenty of talk about salt -- not so much the run off as the spray that car tires kick up in the winter time. most of the trees right on the Drive were nearly dead because of it. :(

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