The double-edged sword of attraction

Many people do enjoy sitting under a large tree, particularly during the summer when the dense shade it casts cools the air beneath. The calming effect trees provide, the sense of purpose they offer, and the visual beauty they possess are but three other reasons for why individuals may be drawn to trees.

However, there is a cost. Compaction.

It’s ironic really, isn’t it? The stunning trees we are all drawn to leads to – to differing extents – discernible soil compaction, damage to roots, accidental damage (from humans or pets), or even vandalism (for some reason, certain individuals seem to take pleasure in damaging trees – young or old). As we can see in the photo below for example, a picnic bench has been placed under the oak tree, which has lead to ‘nucleated’ foot traffic – this has resulted in very visible compaction of the soil, and is particularly evident when (ironically) standing under the tree to observe the damage. Advertising a tree in such a manner, whilst understandable, is perhaps short-sighted.

It also concerns me that, despite the distinct lifting of the root plate on the tension side (and the lean, if you hadn’t noticed), the picnic bench remains on the compression side of the lean. I am sure the National Tree Safety Group would love this one!

Personally, I’m leaning towards moving the bench. The tree, on the other hand, is just leaning towards the bench.
The double-edged sword of attraction

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