Trees for Houston

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Apparently, Houston needs some tree diversity as an ongoing inventory of the city’s trees shows a disproportionate number are live oaks:

Surveys of various local neighborhoods consistently show that 60 percent to 70 percent of the trees on public land are live oaks.

Experts say, however, that a diversity of species is essential to keep urban trees healthy and abundant.

“Only 10 percent should be one species,” said Charles Burditt, president of a Conroe-based forestry consulting firm that bears his name. “Otherwise, a disease or other catastrophic event could wipe out a large percentage of your trees.”

Burditt is providing such information and advice through a tree inventory the firm is conducting in Midtown, a redeveloping neighborhood south of downtown.

Experts say a current database of the number, species and condition of trees is an invaluable tool in preserving urban canopies, which are diminishing in Houston and most other cities.

“This is the best practice for urban forestry,” said Kathy Lord, executive director of the nonprofit group Trees for Houston. “If we don’t know what we have in this 680 square miles, how can we take care of it?”

I’m a big fan of Trees for Houston and was happy to see the group mentioned in the article, but the Chronicle missed an opportunity to provide a link for the group. That’s supposed to be one of the advantages of reading an article online – more information than one might find in the paper. Trees for Houston’s website is full of valuable information about choosing and caring for trees, in addition to providing details about what areas and neighborhoods are benefiting from the group’s tree plantings.

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.