another post by Scott Gillihan--a RUN resident who lives near West Park...
I have a couple apple trees in my backyard that I’ve tended for several years. It’s been a tough year for those trees, as it has been all over the region. My apple trees usually are in full bloom on April 15, tax day. This year they bloomed early because of the mild winter only to be bit hard by a late frost. Now those trees, and all of us, are suffering through the worse drought and heat wave in memory.
The effects of this heat are everywhere. From the smaller tomatoes at the community garden to the parched Maple trees in front of St. Luke’s to the trickle that used to be Richland Creek. It’s a global problem, but it hits very close to home. And I believe it’s only going to get worse as we keep putting our coal mines in the atmosphere.
There are two courses of action we must take. First, let’s make a real effort to cut to amount of electricity and gasoline that we consume. Remember to recycle, reduce and reuse.
Secondly, we should try to look ahead and plant trees and bushes that are more heat tolerant. I’m an amateur naturalist, and I’ve seen how my hibiscus, a tropical plant, is surviving much better that my viburnum which is better suited for northern climates. I’ve seen a lot of “trash trees” like sumac and elms thrive, while the pines are suffering.
It will take a lot of work to plant and care for the fauna of the changing climate, but it’s better than watching the trees burn without a fire.