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Tribute to a bur oak

An arborist from ISU recently reminded me of the vital lifesaving importance of trees, a fact that is frequently underestimated. This is especially true of long-lived oak trees and the most majestic of the oaks, the bur oak.

Consequently, it hurt to see a stately and healthy bur oak removed recently by FD workers. The tree was killed by a torturous cutting off of its limbs one by one over a period of several days. In its place is a small concrete parking pad at a trail head.

When my parents built their new home, the concrete driveway was laid around a beautiful oak tree. When an aunt built a screened porch, she accommodated a large shade tree. Accommodations for trees are made all the time. Except when they are not.

Except when creativity and thoughtful problem solving are stifled by strict adherence to a plan that looked good on paper.

The landscape of North 22nd Street where the tree was removed has been significantly changed, and not for the better. A beautiful, historic bur oak has been replaced with concrete to accommodate parking for trail walkers and bikers wanting to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Ironic isn’t it.

This is not a criticism of the trail system; the trail is nice. This is merely a tribute to a lovely bur oak and a hope the past will not be repeated going forward.

Deb Zemke

Knierim