Friday, November 04, 2011
These photos were taken from the nineteenth floor of the highrise that I stay in for part of my time in Houston. It is a lovely place with magnificent views of sunsets and the beautiful trees of Houston and Memorial Park.
I had been warned by many that the drought had caused much damage. What the drought hadn't caused, the wildfires had rushed in and claimed more. At ground level there is intermittent brown mixed in with green as you move along and you don't really get a sense of the enormity of the tree loss. When you get above it, it is staggering.
Over 15,000 trees have to be cut down in Memorial Park alone in Houston this year. They say the damage came from the one-two punch of Hurricane Ike a couple of years ago and then followed by the drought which has weakened and killed this huge number of trees.
The annual budget in Houston for tree removal is usually around $350,000. Not this year. They have just appropriated $4.5 MILLION dollars for tree removal.
Of course it is not only pines, but cedar, oaks and many other old, old trees. A blow to the beauty of Houston as well as to the loss of habitat for birds, bees, butterflies and a whole host of other critters who depend on those trees.
Sad but true, it will be harder to find a shady spot in the future!