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View Full Version : Ban on American Elm in new Neighborhoods



KC
11-07-2006, 11:10 AM
An article in the Edmonton Journal mentions that the City is banning elms as street trees (it doesn't provide a lot of detail) in new developments due to the future damage to sidewalks and other infrastructure.

Seems to me that would be a bureaucratic mistake - the second choice green ashes that are planted around our city do more damage to our city in terms of quality of life, image and reputation (it feels like winter a month early here due to their extremely early loss of leaves) and they eventually grow to be quite large trees themselves.

Also, go to Wikipedia and you'll see that Edmonton has one of the largest surviving populations of American Elm in North America - a potential tourist attraction in itself.

Then there's the huge old Silver Maples over by HighStreet that would need to be banned next.

I guess though - the ban will cause developers to be more creative and diversify their tree selection - maybe even use evergreen pines or spruce as street trees. Winnipeg a few years ago embarked on a project to plant tens of thousands of evergreens to make the city more palitable in the long winter months and eliminate that cold, dark, desolate and dead feeling many of our streets have too.

highlander
11-07-2006, 12:12 PM
I love elms. They're one big reason we bought in an older neighbourhood. Ash are ugly, Oak grow very slowly here, as domany others, Maple seem to suffer from winter sunburn untill they are very large and established, poplars ruin paint jobs, birch don't handle drought, and die young, mayday trees don't create any sort of canopy...

The decision wasn't made out of fear of dutch elm disease?

Rather than eliminate elm, why not make the boulevards a little wider? In my hood, 50-90 year old trees have buckled only a very few sidewalks, while below the Ash in front of my house the sidewalk is badly cracked and sunk.

I've actually been considering covertly transplanting a self-seeded elm out of my backyard and into the boulevard then covertly removing the ubly ash 15 years from now. It'l be a slow project, but elms are that much nicer.

BDavidson
11-07-2006, 01:29 PM
Although I have not read the article, I feel I am well placed to comment on the subject as I have studied horticulture in the past.

I would suspect that the Elm ban is more related to the fear of Dutch Elm disease.

Dutch elm disease is a devastating disease that has killed many of the street trees in eastern Canada and the United States.

The disease has been shown to be controlable with good cultural practices. Elm disease has been present in Winnipeg since the early 70's and there are still a large number of Elm trees in that city.

Elms are one of the overall better trees for urban areas and should still be planted. (IMO)

uberurban
11-07-2006, 02:57 PM
Elms are the best. Green Ash suck. But people buying houses in new areas don't care about trees anyways, do they? As long as they can sqeeze that 3000 sq ft house on the tiny lil lot they're happy.

Did anyone ever notice that new sector in belgravia where the millard center used to be... OMG :shock:

No blvd. trees there, no blvds. for that matter... nothing except huge houses... rediculous...

Sonic Death Monkey
11-07-2006, 06:56 PM
Maybe the developers can get around this problem by not cutting down every tree in sight every time they want to start a new suburban subdivision. :roll:

ChrisD
12-07-2006, 10:12 AM
Elms are the best. Green Ash suck. But people buying houses in new areas don't care about trees anyways, do they? As long as they can sqeeze that 3000 sq ft house on the tiny lil lot they're happy.

Did anyone ever notice that new sector in belgravia where the millard center used to be... OMG :shock:

No blvd. trees there, no blvds. for that matter... nothing except huge houses... rediculous...
/\ huge houses, so what? That infill development is excellent imo. The front setbacks have been reduced which have brought the houses closer to the street, the garages are placed at the rear and accessed via alleys. And there are trees planted along the street btw. These have been planted in accordance with city standards.

uberurban
12-07-2006, 09:59 PM
ok im back... took some pix, although they don't really tell the story... its not as bad as I remembered... but still scary... how do you post pix on here?

Anyway there's various ratios of house sizes to lot areas [whether its an infill area or not] that new sector belgravia pays no heed too. Infill is great when the scale of the house is reasonable but when you push the huge house all the way forward on the lot and the garage right to the very back leaving a only a 10 foot strip of grass between them... or in some cases, no yard at all, somethings wrong. That may be what's done in Summerside [with much smaller houses] and similar areas but it appears new sector belgravians actually have quite a bit of money to spend, so it seems odd they would choose to spend it this way.

I don't know who divided it up the way it is. But they could have charged a few thousand more per lot and had less of them. It's not a large area, so it would likely have made a big difference if there was say, 4 less lots, or maybe the people just would have put bigger houses on them :roll:

There's a noticable disregard for old belgravia in almost the whole layout and also a disregard that each house has for its neighbor. Architectural styles of all sorts juxtaposed with one another. This is not a problem when there is more than 6 or so feet between the houses. Infill areas work when the houses resemble each other. I'm not refering to the cookie cutter styles of the aforementioned summerside

What happened to the people who's houses were... i guess demolished... to make way for the LRT? They should have had first dibs at greatly reduced lot prices and the option to move their old house right over there, for free... and I'd say good on ya new sector belgravians... how do you like that 50 year old semibungalow plunked down right beside your 4000 sq ft box :P

I realize this huge house on a tiny lot isn't just a belgravia thing, nor just an Edmonton thing. It's happening all over the place, getting more extreme all the time. And I don't get it... never will

But anyway, about the blvd. trees.... new sector belgravia has them... and they're elms :wink: one pic I took shows why sidewalks there have nothing to fear. Speaking of summerside again... i dont live there. There's no blvd trees in front of the houses at all. Only on the main drags that wind through the area... and they're green ash. So it appears more expensive zones may still get elms and the less well appointed areas will get something cheaper, and less of them.