Winston-Salem adopted its first comprehensive tree ordinance in 2009 which covers both tree removal and tree planting on sites that come in for development review.
What other tools should be used to preserve our existing tree canopy and promote its expansion?
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I believe that the tree ordinance should be stronger, in order to preserve more trees, especially large, mature trees.
The Winston-Salem tree ordinance is now over 2 years old. The City Council committed to a reevaluation in 2 years after adoption. What is the status of that? And most of the trees in the county fall outside of the City so the County should adopt a tree preservation ordinance. We need a regular tree canopy assessment so that we know the rate at which our forest is being depleted. Other counties that have done this have been shocked at the rate of deforestation. Trees adsorb harmful gasses and produce the oxygen we live on. What is not to like about that?
We need a stronger tree ordinance, and it needs to pertain to the whole county. Urban forestry and tree preservation improve the quality of life in our community. Air quality can be improved through the use of trees. Leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particulates. Leaves absorb carbon dioxide from the air to form carbohydrates that are used in the plant’s structure and function. In this process, leaves also absorb other air pollutants—such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide—and give off oxygen. Cities and neighborhoods with significant tree populations reduce their energy consumption in the summer thanks to the shade and heat absorption of trees. Not to mention, they soften the visual effect of the built environment.
The "tree ordinance” now in effect in Winston-Salem is the result of the tireless efforts by a few residents who could see beyond the dollar sign to the ecological and esthetical need for trees. It should be county wide. As I traveled for business in years past, I saw any number of areas set aside on construction sites as “tree presentation areas”. How hard can it be to leave mature trees unaffected by construction? Why should our housing developments, business parks, and public school campuses have a “lunar landscape”?
We need to recognize that historic, mature trees are part of our natural heritage and should be inventoried and protected, wherever possible.
The existing tree ordinance needs to be enforced and strengthened. Our tree canopy should be inventoried at regular intervals, and enforced guidelines for preserving mature trees, by developers.
The ordinance should be strengthened to make sure that buffers are widened near waterways and between new and existing developments.
Regular reviews of the affects of the ordinance should be published, along with a tree canopy inventory that should be conducted every 5 years.
More emphasis should be placed on planting large trees -- not just small "city" trees.
No, the tree ordinance should provide better tree cluster and riparian zone protections and preservation instead of being focused on individual trees. A minimum undisturbed woody buffer will help “green up” our community as well as help streambank stability. Streambank erosion has been indicated to contribute roughly seventy (70) percent of the sediment loads to our watersheds.
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