Trees are untouchable -- unless City Hall doesn't like them
We see that the City of Portland is pushing hard for its proposed new holier-than-thou tree rules. It will eventually get to the point that you can't build your kids a tree house in their own back yard without paying the Sam Rand Twins some money and putting up with their arrogant 20-something-year-old all-knowing City Hall minions.
Funny thing: When private parties own trees in Portland, every plant is sacred. But when a tree gets in the way of some pet program that the city is ramming through, down it goes in the wink of an eye.
For an example, take the scene up in Mount Tabor Park in the southeast part of town. Somebody in the parks bureau decided that the vegetation running up the slopes of the extinct volcano wasn't "native" enough, and so they've been chainsawing and Roundupping up a storm as part of "restoring" the natural order:
The project will remove non-native, invasive vegetation, restore native trees, shrubs and grasses and control erosion in natural areas. Removing invasive plants and planting native plants in Mt. Tabor Park will enhance watershed health by improving stormwater management and habitat, just as Tabor to the River green streets do in urban areas....See that? "Nuisance trees"! Such a concept.
View the journal to see 'before and after' photographs of sites around the park where nuisance trees and invasive plants and shrubs have been removed.
But the goofball non-native gums and plums that are breaking up the sidewalk in front of your house every five years are not "nuisances," though -- oh no, you had better not touch those, or even look at them funny, if you don't want Fireman Randy throwing you in the clink.
Over our way, they're about to blow all kinds of money turning Klickitat Street into a bike boulevard. It's been a fine street for cyclists all along, but the two-wheel crazies at City Hall can't just leave it as the excellent bike thoroughfare it already is -- they have to put in all the curb bubbles and signage and bioswales and other needless garbage that make some favored contractor wealthier and get the mayor's picture in The New York Times for something other than reckless driving. (And this being Blumenauer Fantasy Land, they remove a bunch of parking spaces for the cars of the regular Joes of the neighborhood, of course.)
The official description of the busy work includes this:
The city's contractor will likely use open trench construction to improve streets and to install stormwater management facilities, inlets and inlet leads. New green street facilities will remove some on-street parking spaces and some street trees. The city will replace most of the street trees removed.See that? If an overgrown, old street tree gets in the way, the city just rips it out, and (maybe) replaces it. Try doing that yourself, homeowners. City Hall will crucify you.