Why Suburbs Will Never Have Tall Trees
Modern construction methods doom suburban trees before they’re even planted.
By Kenneth Kidd
© Wes Thompson/Corbis
Drive through the outer suburbs of Toronto, and chances are
you’ll find a familiar scene, one replicated across the continent.
Behind the signs announcing a new subdivision, monstrous
tractors and earth-moving equipment will be chugging across the landscape,
preparing what might have been a farmer’s field for a sea of houses.
Off to one side, there’ll be a giant pile of earth—all of
the topsoil that had been scraped away and set aside so the machines could
grade the site for drainage, sewers, and roads.
Then the houses duly go up, some of that topsoil gets put
back for the lawns, and in come the happy new home owners dreaming of a green
and leafy suburb to be.
There’s just one snag: It may be decades before the place
will begin to support the kind of trees the home owners want.
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