From the Arbor Day Foundation comes mail touting the planting of more trees, a fine idea for enhancing shade trees.
At the same time I read a report in Forestry Source about how too many trees in our forests are robbing our streams of water. Fire suppression has resulted in a five-fold increase in high-elevation trees per acre in the west, whose heavy canopy of needles intercept more rain and snow. That means a lot less water reaches the ground.
A century of over-protection is changing, the report notes, as recognition of too much growth results in not only less water but great fires.
Says the report, “Our cultural mind-set may presume that if a dozen trees are good, 100 trees are better. …To replenish streams before they suffocate and de-fuel the tinderbox before it explodes, we must stop hugging trees, or Smokey Bear, and embrace forest dynamics as whole.”