Eight percent of our urban forest — all the trees in Asheville — were lost in the past 10 years.
Development and largely unregulated tree removal are the contributing factors. There is no agency or department charged with the protection of our trees in Asheville, and continued loss of our green canopy will result in loss of the sense of place that is uniquely Asheville.
Our trees absorb excess amounts of carbon dioxide and return oxygen to the air we breathe. Trees’ root systems absorb stormwater runoff; trees cool us in the summer and provide buffers from damaging winds. The beauty that trees provide is immeasurable.
Asheville needs to add an urban forester and staffing to its city government to protect our trees from future danger. A comprehensive urban forest master plan and updated ordinances governing tree removal and restriction of invasive non-native plantings (such as English ivy) are needed. Linking these to Asheville’s existing Comprehensive Plan is essential to see this become a reality and for true protection for our wonderful trees. Thank you.
— Cathy Walsh