Opinion: Trees are the right pick for the town office

In response to Anna Rose Benson’s letter to the editor (Addison Independent, June 9), she brings up a good point: to avoid planting non-native trees. Unfortunately, our street tree selections are becoming more limited every year, with new diseases and pests arriving and attacking our native trees.
The ginkgo biloba is an amazing tree in that it is the only surviving species of a family that goes back more than 200 million years. As Anna Rose Benson points out, ginkgo bilobas are very resilient-tolerating poor soils, compacted soils, pollution and salt; they take well to pruning. They have few, if any, diseases and pests. Ginkgo bilobas are a great street tree.
It is sad when mature trees must come down, like the black locusts Anna Rose Benson mentions. However, our goal is to replace them with specific trees whose hardiness ensures their survival and that can be enjoyed by future generations. In fact, early settlers to Vermont brought with them the non-native black locust specifically to be used for fence posts and building materials.
Chris Zeoli
Middlebury Town Tree Warden

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