Buffalo should adopt rules to protect trees
While Buffalo struggles with implementing its new Green Code, we also need another kind of “green code,” one to protect trees on private property. I’ve lived in the Elmwood vicinity for over 30 years, and it seems that with gentrification more and more healthy, mature trees are being removed for various reasons.
Trees are essential to the health of our city and our planet: they clean the air, reduce noise pollution and energy costs, are beautiful, and shelter wildlife. For our good and theirs, trees must be protected.
Buffalo needs something like the Shade Tree Commission in Haworth, N.J. Permits are required to remove any tree over 4 inches in diameter, and permit fees increase with the diameter of the tree. Each tree must be replaced by one or two new trees, depending on the size of the tree removed; the new trees may be planted on the same property or elsewhere, as determined by the owner and the commission. An allowance is made for dead or unsafe trees. The rules apply equally to developers.
This would support wonderful groups like Re-Tree Western New York. It is for the common good, something we owe ourselves, the world and future generations. Buffalo was once called “The City in the Forest.” Why not again?