National Tree Benefit Calculator

The Arbor Day Foundation has a fantastic new Tree Benefit Calculator that " determines, among other advantages, the amount of stormwater a tree will intercept depending on its species, location, and diameter. " This is a great tool for anyone working to educate, plan and restore.

http://www.arborday.org/calculator/index.cfm

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Good Intentions Gone Wrong: Cypress Mulch

Walgreen’s holds the distinction of being one of the most egregious
tree-killers in New Orleans. The construction of the seemingly endless
parade of stores with their combined acres of impermeable concrete has
killed more public trees than any other business in the city. To add
insult to injury, they then landscape with questionable plantings
topped with cypress mulch. Sheesh. And note the irony of the logo of
the company that did the latest Metairie store.

But it doesn’t end there. A walk through Faubourg St John reveals that
someone cares about the struggling live oak at Canseco’s that’s been
beat-up for decades. NIce try, but looks like cypress mulch strikes
again.

And while at Home Depot, we see why: cypress mulch is the cheapest
mulch available. This is sad. Out of state companies get subsidies
from Louisiana’s economic development efforts to come here, cut our
remaining cypress forests, shred them, put them into plastic bags and
sell them back to us. Everyone who buys cypress mulch is investing in
the destruction of Louisiana and helping an out of state company make
a profit. How many layers of wrong are in that equation?

But the worst offenders, when measured by the “they should know better”
scale, are the recent beautification efforts by both the Downtown
Development District and Emeril’s. Again we see cypress mulch! Is
anyone listening?

The Gulf Restoration Network is doing its best to get the word out. Go
to http://healthygulf.org/our-work/save-our-cypress/save-our-cypress-home
and do what you can to get involved.

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Jesuit High Still Doesn’t Understand Live Oaks

I’ve been watching Jesuit High School in New Orleans abuse live oaks
for more than a decade. They installed concrete to make more parking,
killing trees on Carrollton. They installed concrete on Banks St,
damaging the trees on that beautiful street. And now they’ve done
extensive work on what little green space they have on Carrollton
where the landscaper installed a deep bed of sand followed by turf
grass.

Landscapers such as this company are sadly out of touch. Turf grass
and live oaks do not get along. There is a chemical warfare at the
root level between these plants and it damages the oaks.

Now, after choking the trees with concrete, disturbing their root
systems with extensive digging and the use of heavy equipment, the
coup de grace ( or is that coup de grass) in now in place. The oaks on
Carrollton will now start to look more like the oaks on Banks which
are slowly dying as evidenced by these pictures.

As an educational institution and a Catholic one as well, this
“progress” gets an “F” and a suggestion that someone go to confession
and repent.

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Reason for Optimism: Pontchartrain Park

The reconstruction of the golf course at Pontchartrain Park (founded
1952) is underway. Construction is proceeding with the live oaks
cordoned off for protection. Though metal fences are recommended
because the orange plastic ones often are knocked down by any number
of things from wind to heavy equipment, it’s encouraging to see so
many trees fenced. Not sure why the cypresses get no love, though. But
I’m crossing my fingers that this one goes well.

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BW Cooper Site Violates Stormwater Management Laws and Kills Oaks

As these pictures painfully reveal, there are plenty of developments
destroying the landscape of New Orleans. This is the site of the BW
Cooper housing project. The company in charge has not filed a
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (commonly called a Swip Plan) as
required by law. The result is runoff clogging storm drains which
leads to future flooding and pollutes bodies of water such as Lake
Pontchartrain.

Also, the live oaks on the site are being killed and cut. This is a
shamefully managed development for which more than one company shares
the blame. It is up to the Louisiana Dept of Environmental Quality to
fine this operation for failure to file a Swip Plan and subsequent
damage. And it is up to the City of New Orleans to demand preservation
of the landscape and trees.

I’ve received emails from people telling me to call this reporter and
that entity. But, I leave it to anyone out there who actually might
know who to call to do so. I am reporting these violation via this
site. I don’t know exactly who to call at DEQ or the City of New
Orleans. If you do, please make the call.

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