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Tree's loss prompts study.

The banner--Remember this tree--was visible in the branches of a Colorado state champion horsechestnut whose future is in doubt, even though its legacy is very much alive in the legislative halls of Boulder.

The 60-foot tree, on Margery Goldman's property in the city, has sparked a debate about Boulder's land use code, which requires protection of trees more than 6 inches in diameter during construction.

A gray area appeared, though, when construction began on the lot next to Goldman's; the horsechestnut's roots--but not its trunk--fell on the affected property, and so the tree was not protected. The 60-foot tree lost more than half its root system during construction and, without those roots to anchor it, is considered endangered by "the notoriously brutal Front Range winds" and might need to be taken down, according to the Boulder Daily Camera.

City land-use planners began compiling information for city council on existing regulations and options for beefing up Boulder's tree protection ordinance.

"What we're proposing is that we do take some time to look at the issue to see what other communities have done and what Boulder as a community might want to see happen," Robert Ray, the city's land use review manger, told the Daily Camera. "We don't want to rush into something without fully investigating what all the ramifications might be."

Goldman herself hired consultants and researchers to try to determine exactly how much Boulder's trees are worth individually. Their efforts yielded an annual benefit value of $77 per tree, including pollutants each tree absorbed, the amount of energy its shade saved, and how much stormwater it kept from running off.

Boulder's urban forest provided a cool $1.65 million in annual savings on energy bills in residential areas, a 2002 city study found.

"For more than 80 years, this tree has lent its beauty, its shelter and its grace to an entire neighborhood," Goldman said of the 60-foot state champ. "Its loss is going to be devastating."
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Title Annotation:News from the world of Trees
Publication:American Forests
Date:Sep 22, 2007
Words:327
Previous Article:Cornell study links pollution, deaths.
Next Article:Watching the sky from the fence.


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