Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Arborist says trees destroyed for Phoenix light rail could have been saved

[Source: Scott Wong, Arizona Republic] -- To some, palm trees are icons of Phoenix's historic landscape. Others see them as a public nuisance impeding the city's plans to remake downtown into a shady, walkable district linked by a light-rail line. Metro light rail's decision to destroy more than 300 palms in and around downtown has reignited the debate over whether the stately trees should continue to have a prominent place along Valley streetscapes. Tim Johnson, a top Arizona tree expert, was instrumental in helping Metro successfully relocate hundreds of palms, some of them historic, from along Central Avenue between McDowell and Camelback roads. Now, he says at least half of the 307 palms destroyed farther south to make way for the downtown light-rail segment known as Line Section 3 were healthy enough to be salvaged. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]