Along the road in which I live are two separate sections: one with plenty of mature oaks and hornbeam lining the roadway, and one without. Whilst the oaks and hornbeams suffered rather significant damage as a result of construction works within their root zones and aerial space, there is no question their presence is of amenity benefit.
For context, the entire area around where I live was once agricultural land. The land was grazed by cows, and some of the houses were built upon the shadows of the tractor and cow barns. The mature trees were once part of old agricultural field boundaries, or formed old informal lanes. A consultation of old early Ordnance Survey maps of the area (from the mid-late 1800s to early 1900s) shows that the road on which these trees reside has existed for over 100 years, with old plots to the south and agricultural fields to the north. In some respects, the area has not changed in layout – the infrastructure has merely been upgraded to modern standards, and old properties were removed and replaced with new ones. During such upgrades and development, many of these old oaks and hornbeams would have suffered the damage they still exhibit – old pruning wounds at least 30cm in diameter where entire stems and limbs have been removed, and visibly severed roots where driveways and the highway have been put in.
The below photos, taken just an hour ago, hopefully go some way to not only showing how great it is to have a road lined with such mature trees, but also the damage the trees have endured as a result. Those scars will remain as a reminder of man’s destruction of the environment, for no sake but his own.