The Daily Evergreen

Keep Pullman’s trees in development plans

Pullman needs to consider lasting impact on downtown tree removal, replacement in future endeavors

The+Purple+Autumn+Ash+trees+lining+the+streets+of+downtown+may+be+removed+for+future+projects.+The+city+needs+to+recognize+upcoming+plans+to+ensure+natural+aesthetics+in+the+future+aren%27t+as+impacted+by+development+before+putting+them+in.
The Purple Autumn Ash trees lining the streets of downtown may be removed for future projects. The city needs to recognize upcoming plans to ensure natural aesthetics in the future aren't as impacted by development before putting them in.

The Purple Autumn Ash trees lining the streets of downtown may be removed for future projects. The city needs to recognize upcoming plans to ensure natural aesthetics in the future aren't as impacted by development before putting them in.

Adam Jackson | The Daily Evergreen

Adam Jackson | The Daily Evergreen

The Purple Autumn Ash trees lining the streets of downtown may be removed for future projects. The city needs to recognize upcoming plans to ensure natural aesthetics in the future aren't as impacted by development before putting them in.

HANAH GOETZ, Evergreen opinion editor

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Recently there has been numerous negative responses toward Pullman’s possible decision to remove or replace trees downtown for further development. But while Pullman is working to increase their aesthetic value, we see that the government is choosing to treat the nature around it like most people in our western society; by looking at nature like it’s disposable.

Pullman is obviously not the first to do this. We do this in our own gardens just as much as other cities and towns reorganize their nature. The problem here is Pullman isn’t removing flowers, it’s removing trees to make way for a chemical-filled fountain and fancy street lamps.

“What they’re trying to do now is implement some decorative features, such as ornate street lamps, stamped rock or brickwork, a fountain … and we can’t do that with the trees in place,” Parks Superintendent Alan Davis said. “Of course, they can’t go down all at once, so we would remove them one at a time.”

Davis also mentioned that the trees will be unable to avoid damage from the construction, and said it would be easier to remove them and replace them.

We have to give Pullman some credit for the fact that it is working on taking care of its downtown area and making it more appealing to visitors and locals alike. If they do choose to replace the trees after these aesthetics are put in, the community will have more of an ability to argue for trees staying in the future.

“When the original mayor decided to put in the trees, he had a few criteria,” Davis said. “They had to grow to about 40 feet tall and all the leaves had to fall in one day for easy cleanup.”

Davis said multiple trees had been considered, but the Purple Autumn Ash, the trees that are standing now, were the best for the job and would be the trees the city would consider planting again.

“We want to make sure the trees are good for the business owners,” Davis said. “We would probably stick to the Purple Autumn Ash. We tried plums and cherry trees, but they created a mess, and trees like maples will tear up the sidewalks.”

But if Pullman chooses to keep the Purple Autumn Ash, then it also needs to take into account what is required to maintain it, such as giving it more room for its root systems so it doesn’t tear up the sidewalk.

The key is to think long-term from the beginning, not later on amidst new projects and planning. It would save so much time, money and energy if we saw the impact of the city’s decisions way ahead of time.

In the world we currently live in, we cannot make nature as disposable as everything else in society.

We can’t keep trying over and over again to figure out what makes downtown beautiful, especially when trees take longer to establish and grow than other plants.

Pullman needs to be smarter about these decisions and consider the impact they are having on the environment.

Let the trees establish and grow to be beautiful, but at the same time, make sure we aren’t wasting time and money fixing or improving something with an obstacle as simple as a tree.

About the Writer
HANAH GOETZ, Evergreen columnist/opinion editor
Hanah Goetz is a senior creative writing major from Kenosha, WI. She can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected]
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Keep Pullman’s trees in development plans