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Letters: Trees vital to battle heat

Richmond News reader says more needs to be done to save trees in Richmond and beyond

Dear Editor,

 Last summer some trees had their leaves turn yellow and fall to the ground. It’s happening again. The rust coloured leaves on the ground at the library and in the parks make it seem like fall’s here.

Fall? In summer?

This summer seems to be shaping up to be one for the record books, and not in a good way.

The intense heat hurts trees and makes them more susceptible to pests like aphids and other insects.

The trees are our friends. They’re VIPs in the battle against climate change, patiently capturing and storing carbon dioxide. Compare how refreshing it feels to sit under a canopy of trees in the park with the heat blasting you get while walking among concrete and glass high-rises.

My aunt lives in a house on a tree-lined street in Vancouver. She sailed through the recent heat wave. Her home was cool.

My apartment on the other hand was an oven. I don’t know how hot it was because the little pointer on my thermostat was off the charts.

Yes, when they built this building in the sixties, they never dreamed we’d have temperatures like this.

We have to protect our mature trees. I would ask city hall to please make sure the trees have enough water. Treegators, or watering bags, are perfect for helping trees survive this hot summer. The trees are in distress. If summer continues on this hot trajectory, we may lose some of those trees.

I would also ask city hall to value mature trees when they’re approving new developments. Mother trees are vital in protecting biodiversity.

It can take at least 50 years to replace trees that help combat climate change. Will we heed dollar signs or the flashing red signs of climate change?

For our grandchildren’s sake, I hope we act on stopping climate change.

Let’s protect everyone who’s vulnerable in this heat: people, pets and trees.

Lexy Clayburn