by Kimberly Coffey, GDCA Board Member & Block Co-captain
Neighbors have united and donated funds to remove dead limbs, low-hanging branches, and vines from some of the Garden District’s majestic and historic oak trees. Last week, Bayou Tree Service performed this much-needed and beneficial work on the Park Boulevard trees between Perkins Road and Terrace Avenue. This initiative and the work being done was featured this week on WBRZ again! CHECK OUT THE STORY
Some of the advantages neighbors have already noticed include:
1. More beautiful landscaping to enjoy on a daily basis. Long-time resident Pat James notes that “the block just looks fabulous!” She adds that this is the first time in her 45 years on the block that the trees have undergone a comprehensive maintenance effort.
2. Personal satisfaction associated with environmental and neighborhood conservation. Resident Corrie Ford articulates “I’m grateful we are able to live among these beautiful trees that were planted before most of us were born – and also thankful that the Garden District gave us all an opportunity to be good stewards of these gentle giants. And not MOST important, but important, now maybe they will think twice before dropping their limbs on our cars.” Block co-captain and incoming GDCA Board member Clayton Fields echoes this sentiment: “It’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of such a positive change for our neighborhood. Our efforts will ensure that our live oaks remain healthy for generations to come.”
3. Peace-of-mind associated with the removal of dead limbs, which can pose a substantial safety and property hazard.
4. Elevated clearance room means vehicular traffic will not bump or brush under low-hanging trees limbs, potentially damaging the trees and scratching vehicles.
5. More sunlight reaches home windows when the tree canopy is lifted.
6. Possible crime deterrence. The removal of dead and low-lying limbs unexpectedly increased sight lines on the street. Porch lights and street lights illuminate more of the street.
In addition to these immediate benefits, the pruning work also has longer-term advantages for the trees and the neighborhood:
7. Tree limbs generally take time to die back to the tree trunk, during which time the tree is expending nutrients on a dying limb, instead of bolstering its remaining, viable limbs. Removing dead and dying limbs allows the tree to divert nutrients to remaining limbs and prevents a dying limb from potentially infecting the rest of the tree, all of which creates healthier trees.
8. This, in turn, preserves the trees for posterity, as Corrie Ford and Clayton Fields both mentioned above.
9. All of these benefits also protect and enhance the neighborhood experience and property values.
If You’re Inspired and Have a Specific Tree Median You’d Like Serviced…
Reach out to us at [email protected] to let us know which median you’d like to see serviced! We’ll obtain a price quote from Bayou Tree Service so we have a fundraising target. Bayou Tree Service has kindly offered us the exceptional price of ~$1,000/tree; residents need to raise 80-90% of the cost of the median. Donations are tax-deductible.
We’ll need to work with one or two captains on the block to spearhead fundraising efforts. Although it may be tempting to divide the price quote by the number of households on the block, our experience is that most people don’t donate. We make no judgment about this – some households may not be in a position to donate while others may have other priorities. It does make the small handful who donate to this effort uniquely wonderful – we’re so grateful for you!! May good karma bring joy and ease to your every day.
Once we have established a block fundraising captain or co-captains, the captain(s) will reach out to neighbors and ask them if they’re willing and able to contribute to the cause, and if so, how much they can donate. We’ve found that obtaining pledges from potential donors allows neighbors to confirm that they’ll have enough funds to service the median before they actually donate and commit funds.
Once the block fundraising captain(s) has/have a total amount pledged, they can provide this value to the GDCA Board. The GDCA is covering the remaining 10-20% of the cost of a tree median, so it needs to vote to approve the remaining funding. Once this approval happens, donors can donate with the confidence that the work will happen.
Fundraising progresses most smoothly when we can find a couple of people who are each able to fund a couple of trees. Should a potential donor delightfully want to fund an entire median, we can bypass the coordination steps above. In this case, just let us know and we’ll work with you and Bayou Tree Service to have the work performed as quickly as Bayou Tree Service’s schedule permits.
If You’re Inspired and DON’T Have a Specific Tree Median You’d Like Serviced…
You can help the cause by donating online at gdcabr.org/live-oak-love-collective/#donate-live-oak-love.
Under the drop-down menu labeled “Select the street with the median to which you want to donate”, select “Any median in need.” Donations are tax-deductible.
What To Expect When A Tree Median Is Being Serviced
The tree median work lasted ~4.5 days on Park Blvd and residents found it minimally disruptive. Traffic was only blocked in one direction at a time. Blockades were established to prevent incoming traffic but not outgoing traffic. The work crews arrived after the morning commute (e.g., 8:30-9 AM) and left before before school bus routes or evening commute traffic would be affected (e.g., ~2:30 PM). There was some noise, but it was intermittent and the volume depended upon the work crew’s location relative to one’s home. Residents found it fun to see the progress.