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  • Jeff

Monocultures (Planning for Failure)

You know that big, beautiful Ash tree down the street? It’s been there as long as you can remember and has always looked healthy and lush. Suddenly and seemingly for no reason it is now being cut down, what are these people thinking?

To explain this we have to have a little history lesson.

The American Elm used to be THE city tree in North America. It was planted everywhere, when you have the perfect tree, why plant anything else? Then around 1930 Dutch Elm Disease was brought over from the Netherlands in a shipment of logs. The trees had no defense against this non-native disease and by 1989 75% of the American Elms in the USA were lost.

The lesson learned; don’t plant too much of the same tree, variety is the key, right? Well apparently not. Ash trees make great city trees, why not plant them everywhere? Then around 2002 the Emerald Ash Borer arrived in the USA in a shipment of wood from East Asia, it has so far claimed hundreds of millions of Ash trees.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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