Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Shade Trees and a Cool Streets Contest


It's time to shine light on shade. If Princeton held a contest for the coolest, best shaded blocks, I'd nominate a couple blocks in my neighborhood. One is at the corner of Erdman Avenue and Tee-Ar Place, where four giant pin oaks, healthy despite the local prevalence of bacterial leaf scorch, extend their broad limbs southward and westward over the pavement.

Another is on Stanley Avenue, where some more healthy pin oaks are doing the job. On the left is a Norway Maple--not my favorite species, but in this case well placed to shade the pavement.

Having a contest would shine light, so to speak, on the importance of being strategic about where trees are planted. Some homeowners may understandably want to have sunlight reach a garden, or solar panels on the roof. Neither of these need conflict with optimizing shade where it is most important--over pavement, where the sun's light energy would otherwise be turned into heat when it hits blacktop, contributing to the urban heat-island effect.

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