Earlier this month, a developer in northwest Dallas topped over 30 live oak trees along Forest Lane. According to an article from Dallas News, Steve Houser, a local arborist, suspects that the motive behind cutting back the trees was to increase visibility of a new storage facility while avoiding a tree removal permit and accompanying mitigation fees with the city. Houser stated, “Professional arborists do not top trees like this. This is a huge loss for the area.
The trees were on the city’s protected list, and now will likely not survive. “It’s very unfortunate,” Houser said. “Trees like this clean your air, water, soil and they just improve overall quality of life. Damage like this will kill a tree, and Dallas doesn’t have enough trees as it is.”
Dallas is one of the fastest-warming urban areas in the United States due to an increase in impervious surface (i.e.: pavement) and a decrease in green spaces, resulting in a phenomenon known as the “urban heat island effect.” According to Texas Trees Foundation’s new 2017 Urban Heat Island Study, this is impacting the city environmentally and economically.