Is Atlanta facing a 'Treepocalypse'?
Tree Next Door member and ISA certified arborist Peter Jenkins, along with Greg Levine of Trees Atlanta, speaks with Channel 11 about the aging of Atlanta's urban forest. Jenkins and Levine explain that not only do we have many trees planted during the early part of the last century that are reaching the end of their life expectancy, but that the rapid development Atlanta has experienced has created a "heat dome" over the city, which has led to overall higher temperatures and less rainfall within the city.
Trees Atlanta does a great job at planting new trees, but it takes decades to develop a mature urban canopy. Aging urban forests, like Atlanta's, are suffering. As a recent New York Times article points out, we risk losing our tree canopy before the new trees have had a chance to grow. If Atlanta loses a substantial percentage of its mature tree canopy, newer trees that have been planted will be subject to potentially even hotter temperatures and less rainfall, shortening their life expectancy.
It is important to preserve as many of our older trees which are still healthy, even if they are not expected to live more than another ten or twenty years. These "grandfather trees" serve a vital purpose in keeping our tree canopy intact while we wait for the next generation of Atlanta's trees to mature.