Trees for Pollinators

Categories: General News Tags: Trees

What sort of image comes to mind when you think of a “pollinator garden?” I see an island of native grasses and perennials surrounded by a sea of turf. That’s the garden I helped to install in my neighborhood park in Charlotte. We needed full sun to support the coneflowers, goldenrods, black-eyed Susans and mountain […]

Charlotte’s tree canopy is under threat — and we all have a role to play in saving it

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Podcasts, Trees

Charlotte loves its trees. But are we willing to do all that we can to save them? That’s the paradoxical question confronting Jane Singleton Myers, executive director of TreesCharlotte. The city’s iconic tree canopy has shrunk from 49% to 45% coverage as of 2017, and likely more in the five years since the last comprehensive […]

Bark-devouring beetles are killing Charlotte’s greenway ash trees

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Trees

This story originally appeared in the Charlotte Ledger business newsletter, and is reproduced here with permission. The start of summer beckons in the region’s extensive greenways, but Mecklenburg County’s publicly owned green spaces are under attack from a half-inch-long insect that’s turning whole areas of our urban forest into tree graveyards. The emerald ash borer, […]

Outlaws and Bounties: Bradford pear edition

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Trees

Bradford pears are a problem. For years, I didn’t want to admit it. I’d drive the highways of the Piedmont and the backroads of the Uwharries in early spring, noting the occasional white-blooming tree at the edge of the woods and trying to convince myself they weren’t as invasive as privet. And then came the […]

What’s the future of Charlotte’s tree canopy?

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Podcasts, Trees

Charlotte is known for its tree canopy, and if you’ve ever flown in here or driven on streets lined with towering oaks, you know why. But that canopy is under threat, shrinking by the equivalent of three football fields a day as development spreads and iconic trees planted decades ago age and die. And the […]

Charlotte’s losing its green canopy, despite efforts to save trees

Charlotte is losing over three football fields a day worth of trees. That’s the sobering conclusion of a study by the University of Vermont in collaboration with TreesCharlotte, detailing how development, age, storms and other factors have cut down Charlotte’s tree canopy. The percentage of Charlotte covered by tree canopy fell from 49% to 45% […]

Some mountain conifers make the Piedmont their home

In December, the familiar Fraser fir population reaches its fleeting peak in the Piedmont as Christmas trees are harvested from farms in the North Carolina mountains and brought to market. But two other species of conifers largely restricted to the mountains have found surprising refuge in our region — at least for the time being. […]

Finding the beauty in a bagworm

The overall cluster was about the size of my fist.  A woven cylindrical core was decorated with willow oak leaves, some of them whole and others torn.  They had been applied in an intriguingly symmetrical pattern, creating the effect of wings and a tail.  Tiny twigs with swollen buds had also been incorporated into the design, their weight providing a ballast.  The creature twirled and fluttered in the breeze, a sylvan ballerina.

Turning backyards into bird sanctuaries across the Piedmont

Wildlife habitat comes in all shapes and sizes, as does opportunity for improving it. The rural nature of the Uwharries and other areas around Charlotte allows us to restore grasslands and forests on a landscape scale, but the same management techniques have also proven successful on smaller parcels in urban parks and nature preserves. One […]

Charlotte is backing off its goal of 50 percent tree canopy by 2050

Charlotte won’t reach its goal of tree canopy covering 50 percent of the city by 2050, officials said last week. Instead, the city is planning to focus on smaller, neighborhood-level targets and “fifty-themed” initiatives to promote trees. “It’s still possible to reach 50 percent, but it would be extremely challenging,” said city arborist Tim Porter, […]