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Surrealplaces

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We can always use more trees in Calgary, but when I look back at pics like this I'm grateful for how far Calgary has come.

FEuhZJ7VIAsUFMa.jpg
 

Silence&Motion

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What year would that photo have been taken? Since 2010, I have been frequenting Stephen Ave pretty much weekly. It never occurred to me that those trees are no longer there.

CBC News (May 14, 2014): Dying trees on Stephen Avenue to be cut down, replaced

The trees they replanted in 2014 don't seem to have grown at all in the last 6 years. Surely in there was one place where the City would splurge on Silva Cells, it should be Stephen Avenue. Maybe that will happen as part of the downtown revitalization efforts.
 

Mountain Man

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Was going to guess Elm Scale (and salt on the roadway itself) but wasn't sure. The new trees are doing ok, but lots have died and been replanted a few times.
 

Surrealplaces

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What year would that photo have been taken? Since 2010, I have been frequenting Stephen Ave pretty much weekly. It never occurred to me that those trees are no longer there.
As the person who took the photo, I can tell you that it's from August 2008 :)

https://flic.kr/p/5cLbsH
 

Surrealplaces

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I was looking at some old pictures of Calgary and it seems like there were way more trees on Stephen Ave before. What happened to them?

The street looks so much more lively than it is now.. Sometimes i miss the 2000s.

View attachment 398907
Agreed. Stephen ave was a fantastic place for a summertime stroll, back when it was full of Elm trees.
 

Mountain Man

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I wonder if doing raised planters on Stephen ave would work. Can incorporate benches or a spot for food vendors maybe. Just keeping the salt away from the trees would make a huge difference!
 

MichaelS

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I am not a huge fan of raised planters in areas that are supposed to be major pedestrian areas. They just seem like they create too much of a barrier/obstacle. Barclay Parade is a good example (or maybe a bad one, given the size of the planters they have). I get and support the raised planters along the median of roads like Memorial and 16th Ave, but my first thought is I don't want them on Stephen Avenue.
 

CBBarnett

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I wonder if doing raised planters on Stephen ave would work. Can incorporate benches or a spot for food vendors maybe. Just keeping the salt away from the trees would make a huge difference!
I am not a huge fan of raised planters in areas that are supposed to be major pedestrian areas. They just seem like they create too much of a barrier/obstacle. Barclay Parade is a good example (or maybe a bad one, given the size of the planters they have). I get and support the raised planters along the median of roads like Memorial and 16th Ave, but my first thought is I don't want them on Stephen Avenue.
From what I recall on previous discussion around street trees is that the main challenge is the root systems. Surprisingly - small concrete sarcophaguses are not a good medium to grow healthy roots. Some of the better approaches are those plastic soil cells so the tree routes can go under the pavement, but also just making far more permeable areas for water to seep through. Doesn't have to be garden beds/planters necessarily, but just needs way more surface area where roots exist and access for water to enter the ground. Stephen Ave could easily have permeable surfaces that support foot traffic. I can imagine some stupid rule exists that a pedestrian street needs to be able to support a 25-tonne fire truck for reasons and therefore a road department would reject any permeable surfaces that can't support that weight as the fire truck would be prioritized.

The second part is the maintenance and replacement - small, transplant trees struggle as it is, more so if they aren't watered or prunes properly in the early years. Lots of issues with doing this consistently or adapting watering schedules because of a heat wave. Dead trees aren't always replaced - sometimes because it's learned that the tree will never survive anyways (concrete sarcophaguses), but other times because it seems like it's no ones job to even try.

The background problem is the general environment - windswept corridors between buildings, high amounts of salt, drunk guys ripping off branches of young trees, annual mega-hail storms, drunk drivers that plow into trees - these are all factors that make a hard job (i.e. to grow a tree in a highly variable high-altitude prairie climate) just that much harder because the tree is on the street. So if we want trees, there should always be a bit more attention to detail required to mitigate some of these general environment risks. If we don't put in the extra effort, the trees will often still fail.
 

Mountain Man

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For the watering part, the City does do a really good job on Stephen Ave, I've seen them watering on many days where it's pouring rain lol.
 

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