With many eyes on the forest fires in the Amazon basin, it is perhaps a good time to review the health and extent of tree cover in and around the City of York.
York lies within the boundaries of the proposed new “Northern Forest”
By removing carbon dioxide, trees help mitigate climate change. The shade provided by urban tree canopies can also help minimize the urban heat island effect.
In addition, trees intercept stormwater, which can reduce flooding and improve water quality, and reduce air pollution, such as ozone, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and fine particulate matter. Reductions in air pollution has proven benefits to human health
Not surprisingly in 2019, there is a suite of computer models available which give use a greater insight into tree cover in particular areas.
Many feel that the key priority – after the proper maintenance of existing tree stocks – is to maximise the planting of mature trees which will grow to provide an enhanced canopy.
In turn, the work suggest that open spaces – rather than verges – should be the first place to look for new planting sites
York has had a voluntary group “Treemendous” which has supported tree planting in public spaces for nearly 10 years.
Some work is already going on at neighbourhood level. The Foxwood Residents Association having already obtained a grant to plant trees on part of the Thanet Road sports area.