I T Daily N .. Friday, January 141994
Forestry council takes up challenge
of planting our urban environment
The lasI meeting I attended was planIed with coconut trees.
before heading for a Chrstm oll- Over the year, strong winds
day in Tennesee was the one to destroyed many of these ocon0 t
fon the Urb an ad Community Olasee i,.. .. ,
Forestry Council. Davis -. -..- -
The council will be the key play- Today. mahogany tee withland
e in pulling the America the te 'hlist of abu, .nd cemi.n a n
tful P og ntffect in the Vir- Our Environmntt example ofa exot plan [hat
gin slnd. pd l to our ind
At the oneoetl's fin0 meeting.
Eri E. Dawsen, Economic De vl. u ban env men t h vy little in
opler and Agriulturo cnmmi.- common with native plants which
"inner. medc a now r=mn mune- took million of yea to devlop.
bers of he council irteeoducd Ibhn- People IM ownt and cities. nd
selvee by-laws were diaoa d. native plant pspis may no" be
nletin ofoficM s toolk pla.. and a stold to thrb-an landscap.
gnel discussion followed. Poennlly. I belive thee is
Underlthel incilan govemaeunt nomtu In lban fo SU beo
ageneitn and et.-petolitonstmian native and enio(cphetto -tanosd en
tii otin tobe deep el which tee i right for which site,
an utbana d community aoresy Diteert ile en
policy. Among thep tinipats re ntivsteenobo apeoial a adep-
theCV.1 Wat o ad rmeo AuttD a tIioo. an *evionmneti t atnee
I m re ti. o that ora
,y. Housing. Parks and Roneation be oenlu at lim
and Public Works deparnmeu ,
University of the Virgin Ilands During Huricane Hugo in 1989
Coepettien B tetoaotn I Se.rc dnoge wnninuivw espeelally
U.S. Agnicultu Depatten Soo on S. Croi. Thousads of tees
Conservation Servtic. Real Estate wen uaurooed damaged by the
and Land Developees A. Asoatioa, norm. The huge, exonie Mr ber tr
Gardens and Landscape Assocation nes the Frnderiksted hsh mkel.
and environmental asoiations of for example. was not able Io wilh-
St. Coix. St. Thomas and St. Jothn. tand the sroneg winds.
During discuraion about the Bu, natural disasters such as hurri-
uban forestry program, the planting ucnes can blow in seed of plants
of native trees came up. from faraway tland and plant them
in the island Are tbeso new
Ask any ecologist whether it is species of plants eoi or nive?
benen to plant native or eaotlc trees
and the answeC generally will be: Native ieen offer special bene-
bEither." 'Thy probably will tell fi, but the ability to survive natu-
you it depends on factors thainflu- ral disaer is only a small pan of
ene plant geowh ite, develop- the cmple urban tree election
meet and climae. pocess. When selecting trees.
many sues should be conidred:
To an united ecologist. the climate, need for diversity and the
leon might he taken fror nure hostility of the urban environment.
_ thai ative tnees me o best
choice. However, when man iab For example. many years ago
its a place, he changes it Today's aueen Mny Highway on St. Croix
A peon who is deciding which
tee to plant must undeland each
trees nd the sol's charactristits.
considering drtinage, dieas and
pent Isistance an he ee will
have a tendency to invade other
speoies in a. already existing plant
Cat of es in urbn aenviron-
ments is important 1to the tee
longevity and how it reactor to
Thus, the selection of trees for
urban environment should not be
bese solely n being native or exot-
Today's urban environment is
anything but ntratl. Oftn it is ho-
tile to plant life. Tree need to he
found that can withstand air pollu-
tion. etpald soilt. abuse from
motor vehilns annd vandalirm from
In the finel anatysis, no te. is
perfect in n urban environment,
but the urban forester must strive 1o
pltce the right ree in the right
place After all, urban fonels need
tough tees for tough times.
Otasee Deavi who holds a as-
er of iecare degree in range ma
agent and forestry ecology. ir
St. Crotx ecologist, activist and