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ECA Board Members

Eric Davis President 704 776 3013 Greenway Avenue

Nancy O. Albert Editor/Newsletter Beautification/Art Chair 704 779 0932 Elizabeth Village

(vacant) Vice President Diana Watson Secretary 704 996 9776 Kenmore Avenue Paul Shipley Treasurer 704 651 5897 Kenmore Avenue ECA Special Projects Bryan Rife Membership 980 228 1921 2616 E. 5th Street Ken Magas Website 704 877 7151 E. 5th Street Janet Karner Membership Clement Avenue Robert Zabel Elizabeth 8K Road Race Chair 917 873 8028 Pecan Avenue 2

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Elle Allen Social Chair/Children’s Events 704 502 9101 Greenway Avenue Sarah Bradley Communications/Social Media 704 491 3760 Laurel Avenue Beth Haenni Past President 704 562 5152 Greenway Avenue Kristan Magas Park & Recreation Liaison 704 488 0051 E. 5th Street Stephanie McKee Social Co-Chair Kenmore Avenue 704 907 2872 Kathy Kennedy-Miller Zoning & Real Estate Clement Avenue

Melanie Sizemore Zoning & Real Estate Committee 704 375 3244 Vail Avenue Tom Smith ECA Business Liaison/Ad Czar 630 886 2039 Kenmore Avenue Ric Solow Beautification/Trees 704 334 2986 E. 5th Street Jen Towell Social Co-Chair 704 258 0983 Clarice Avenue

J O I N THE E C A When we speak the word ‘life,’ it must be understood we are not referring to life as we know it from its surface of fact, but to that fragile, fluctuating center which forms never reach. – Antonin Artaud

✤ Trees’re always a relief, after people. – David Mitchell

cover and banner photos: Nancy O. Albert

ECA Officers

Another tree down by Nancy O. Albert During the early morning hours of December 23 a massive old oak tree fell on Oakland Avenue. It had been raining heavily for most of the previously day and though it fell onto the roof of the townhouse next to my condo, the sound of its fall was muffled by the rain and fog. Rather than a crash it fell with a whimper; I mostly heard the scraping of branches on the nearby roof. The tree split into three parts as it fell. One section totally crushed a car parked in the street, another fell over the walkway into Elizabeth Village and the third landed directly onto the roof of adjoined townhouses. Fortunately no one was hurt, though two sets of residents were displaced over the Christmas holiday and three other cars were damaged. The tree was on city property and seemed to be well maintained; regularly trimmed, fertilized and banded each year. A closer look at its split remains revealed that it was rotted within. “I don’t know how it stood as long as it did” Ric Solow commented after looking at it. Though its passing enhances the quality of light in my apartment and gives me a beautiful view of the uptown skyline, it was a lovely old tree. I enjoyed looking out at it during all seasons of the year and I already miss it.

deadline summer 2014:

May 15th

editorial content: 2014 Elizabeth 8K Road Race: March 29, 2013 by Robert Zabel The Elizabeth 8K Road Race, which is presented by Harris Teeter, Hawthorne’s NY Pizza and Bar and Novant Health, will be held on Saturday, March 29, 2014. This year marks the 28th anniversary of the Elizabeth 8K, making it one of Charlotte’s longest-running events. The race features a USATF-certified course and a fantastic tour of the scenic residential streets of the Elizabeth neighborhood. The event, which begins at Hawthorne Recreation Center at Independence Park (345 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte NC, 28204), also includes a 1.5M untimed run/walk for the casual participants and younger runners as well as the Liz Kids’ Fun Run in Independence Park for the little ones. Post race festivities begin in Independence Park and will be followed by an award ceremony and post-race party at Hawthorne’s.

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work so hard to make this a wonderful community event. If you’re interested in being a volunteer and assisting with registration, course monitoring, water stops, finish line, etc., please visit the “Volunteers” section at or email Amanda Beacham ( And if running, walking or volunteering isn’t your thing, then get out and join others along the course route to cheer on your neighbors and show Platinum sponsors the participants Elizabeth’s true • Hawthorne Lane community spirit. United Methodist Church A portion of the proceeds • Jones Dry Cleaning benefit the beautification of the historic Elizabeth • McClure CPA, P.A. neighborhood, the replenishing • Winiker Law Firms, PLLC of Elizabeth’s tree canopy as well as TreesCharlotte (www. Gold sponsors ), the public/ private collaborative dedicated • Helios BodyCare Chiropractic Center to achieving 50% tree canopy coverage by 2050. • Law Office of Annemarie Pantazis For more information or to register for the event, please • Ameriprise Financial, visit Catalyst Financial Group Do yourself, your health, and • The Davey Tree Expert your neighborhood, a favor: Company get outdoors and run, and • Iron Butterfly Pilates be(come) a part of our annual tradition! • Jackalope Jacks / Peculiar Rabbit We greatly appreciate the support of our sponsors.

• Leroy Fox

Title sponsors

• McKnight Law Firm, PLLC

• Harris Teeter

• Ken Magas Design

• Hawthorne’s NY Pizza & Bar

Silver sponsors

• Novant Health

• Parker Poe McClure CPA, P.A.

photos: Ken Magas

Runners and walkers are delighted year after year with the scenic course through the Elizabeth neighborhood as well as by the hospitality of our community. The fun and excitement of the Elizabeth 8K Road Race is generated not only by the race participants, but also by the many generous neighborhood volunteers who

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Did you know… that the City

of Charlotte has more than a dozen ISA Certified Arborists on staff to oversee trees on public property, during commercial and new single-family subdivision development, and on stormwater, neighborhood improvement projects and capital improvement projects.

replacing trees that have Did you know… trees been lost to disease, age, between the sidewalk and the weather, etc. A service request street are the responsibility to have a tree replaced or of Landscape Management to planted can also be called maintain, remove and replace. into Landscape Management. If you see that a tree has These sites are investigated mushrooms around the base, for appropriateness. We can’t large cavities in the trunk, dead always plant a tree back, but or hanging limbs in its canopy, where we can we do. Locations a heavy lean, or any other are gathered year round, added obvious problem, you can call to contracts in July, awarded 311 or Landscape Management in the fall, and planted each directly at 704.336.4262, and winter. someone will investigate and Did you know… those cute take the necessary steps to little green inch worms that address the problem. we remember from childhood, Did you know… when you are the horrid Fall Canker place a service request with Worms we despise today. The the receptionist at Landscape City bands over 5000 street Management, it’s entered into trees each year and encourages a database and assigned a citizens to band their trees too. specific request number. You We’re in this one together can ask for that request # and Did you know… you can call back a few days later to see find ISA Certified Arborist for what the status is in case you assistance with private property missed seeing City staff on site trees online at www.isa-arbor. when they investigated. com and verify that someone is Did you know… the City in fact certified before allowing plants about 1000 trees in them to work on your trees. neighborhoods each year, Another good resource is www. filling vacant spaces and 6

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The benefits of trees by Kris Solow The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese proverb There are many reasons to plant and care for trees, or to defend a tree’s standing: Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife, and make life more pleasant

Trees bring natural elements and wildlife habitats into our neighborhood, supporting environmental sustainability. Oaks, maples, and poplars are among the many species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels. Whether as refuges for wildlife, children or creative and spiritual inspiration for adults, trees have provided the space for retreat and imagination throughout the ages. They provide buffers to mask concrete walls, parking lots, and unsightly views. They muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and create an eye-soothing canopy of green. Trees also absorb dust, wind, and reduce glare. Their magnificent canopy gives a neighborhood identity and encourages pride. Trees combat the greenhouse effect

Global warming is the result of excess greenhouse gases created by burning fossil fuels and destroying tropical rainforests. Heat from the sun, reflected back from the earth,

leaf photo: Kris Solow // tree photo: Nancy O. Albert

Trees – did you know? by Laura Brewer, Assistant City Arborist

is trapped in this thickening layer of gases causing global temperatures to rise. Trees release excess water from their bodies into the environment through the process of transpiration. This creates a cooling effect and reduces the temperature of the earth. Trees purify the air and provide oxygen

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major contributor to global warming. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air. One acre of forest absorbs six tons of CO2, the amount produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles, and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people. Trees conserve energy and cool our streets

Trees properly placed around buildings can save 20-50% in energy used for heating, and reduce air conditioning needs by 30%. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce CO2 and other pollution emissions from power plants. If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%. the people pages


By shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands� and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves, trees cool the city by up to 10 degrees. The net cooling effect is equivalent to 10 roomsize air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. Trees save water and help prevent soil erosion and water pollution

Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall, thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth. When mulched, trees act like a sponge that filters this water naturally and uses it to recharge groundwater supplies. They also hold soil in place which further reduces runoff. Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Most newly planted trees need only 15 gallons of water a week. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture. Trees shield us from ultra-violet rays

Trees provide food

An apple tree can yield up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year and can be planted on the tiniest lot. Pecans and acorns provide food for humans, birds and wildlife. 8

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photos: Nancy O. Albert

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 50%, thus providing protection especially to children on school campuses and playgrounds where they spend hours outdoors.

Trees bring diverse groups of people together

Tree plantings provide an opportunity for community involvement and empowerment that improves the quality of life in our neighborhood and for generations to come. All cultures, ages, and genders have an important role to play at a tree planting or tree care event. Trees heal

Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with fewer complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue. In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within 5 minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension. Trees reduce violence

Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help reduce the level of fear. Trees mark the seasons

One only has to look at the trees to know if it is spring, summer, fall or winter.

Trees increase property values

Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20%. Trees are a wise investment of funds because landscaped homes are more valuable than nonlandscaped homes. In one study, 83% of realtors believe that mature trees have a ‘strong or moderate impact’ on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%. A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000. Trees increase business traffic – Studies show that the more trees and landscaping a business corridor has, the more business it will generate. A tree-lined street will also slow traffic – enough to allow the drivers to look at the storefronts instead of whizzing by. Trees can be a stimulus to economic development, attracting new business and visitors. In a wooded setting, commercial retail areas are more attractive to shoppers,

offices and apartments rent more quickly, tenants stay longer, and space is more valuable to sell or rent. Resources:, Council of Tree and landscape Appraisers, Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research, Dr. Roger S. Ulrich, Texas A&M University, International Society of Arboriculture, Management Information Services/ ICMA, National Arbor Day Foundation, Treesaregood. com,, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service The Queen’s crown in Elizabeth by Patrick Anderson, Master Arborist and Municipal Specialist What is the Queen’s Crown? The Queen’s crown is recognition of the majesty and history of our area tree canopy. We don’t have a great river, a magnificent shoreline, or towering mountains to give us a sense of place. What we do have is the reverence of a great urban forest. In the late 1980’s urban forestry agents for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service started the formal Treasure Tree program in Mecklenburg County. This was in response to an increase in development within the county, and loss of many mature trees in its wake. The program fell to the wayside as the people pages


U-boat. The Baltimore Sun reported that “Seaman Davis, as plucky a lad as ever there was” swam through the water to beg mercy for the drowning sailors (who were being strafed with machine-gun fire) to no avail. As he clambered up the side of the U-boat, “the Hun Captain shot him through the head with his pistol.” Nine trees were planted to honor these brave men, though only three stand today.

We invite you to visit and learn more about our historic tree canopy. Within the website you will find stories for some trees, facts about the species of other trees, and a map containing all of our documented trees. I encourage you to seek out our historic trees and enjoy their majesty for yourself.

Another tree you may have found yourself resting in the shade of on a hot summer’s these agents moved on in their day is the Ash by the reflecting careers. Fast forward to 2012, pond not far from the corner and the launch of The Queen’s of 7th Street and Hawthorne Crown Initiative. Our goal is to Ave in Independence Park. This not just bring awareness to our area of the Park is a memorial mature tree canopy, but to also to former Central High teacher demonstrate the history our and Girl Scout Troop leader trees hold. We’ve gone about Lillian Arhelger. On a Scout locating and documenting the trip to Blowing Rock in 1931, former Treasure Trees, now Lillian jumped in after one of named the Jewels of the Crown, the girls after she slipped into and along the way found Glen Burney Falls. While the trees that have a story linking child survived the 40ft tumble Charlotte’s past to our present. over the waterfall, Lilian was not so lucky. The students of There are several Jewels of Central High were moved to the Crown that Elizabeth raise money so a memorial residents may see on a daily could be constructed for Lilian. basis, but not know their full Thus a stone gazebo, reflecting stories. The willow oaks lining pond, and fountain designed Saint Martin’s Church on 7th Street were planted in the early to mimic a small waterfall was created. Just above the fountain 1900s as a dedication to nine members of Saint Martin’s that stands an ash tree. This is a fought in World War I. All of the fitting specimen, as ash trees can be found growing along men returned home but one. the banks of rivers and streams Seaman Edward Lee Davis was on the USS Ticonderoga when in the Western Carolina she was sunk by a German Mountains.

In Charlotte and particularly in the Elizabeth Community we are blessed with strong beautiful trees. They provide shelter from both sun and rain and serve as barriers helping us keep our visual distance from our neighbors. Trees provide the birds and squirrels with places to rest or exercise. Trees delight us with their beauty and fruit.


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When I was growing up, we had a huge apple tree in our front yard. Each spring the blossoms signaled the end of the long and snowy New York winter. In due time the blossoms turned into small green apples and by fall the Macintosh apples were red and ready for eating. I remember just picking one for my after school snack. We also put some in a basket for my Mom to turn into applesauce. What a treat it was to come home from school and smell the cinnamon and apples cooking. My Mom seemed to time the cooking just right and we were able to have a fresh

photos: p10 Kris Solow, p11 Nancy O. Albert

Trees by Frances D’Amato

bowl of applesauce after school. My friends and cousins were always welcome to join us for our fall treat. At Halloween, we bobbed for apples in the front yard when we dressed in our costumes before we went trick or treating. In a way, it seemed there would be no end to the apples ripening and being ready for picking. We also made apple butter to enjoy all winter so we could remember and be thankful for our apple tree. When I moved to Boone I bought a home that had a golden delicious apple tree in the front yard. I didn’t climb this tree, but I did enjoy being the one to make the applesauce and apple butter. I also shared the apples with my neighbors since I no longer had school chums to share the warm applesauce with after school. While living in Elizabeth, I had a huge crepe myrtle tree in my backyard and cut down flowers or just enjoyed the beautiful red color as I lounged under the shade of the tree. Yard Yak by Kay Minor Last week of January, Peter and I visited Belize with our neighbors, Jenny and William. A complimentary balance of mature youth alongside the youthfully senior, we share the love of small dogs, fine wine, and photography. Walking the sandy path to a favorite beachfront breakfast the people pages


spot, we spotted a fair sized mangrove tree, solitary, its perch a man-made island composed of indigenous rocks, dead coral, and sand. Unremarkable among the massive sturdy palms on beachside, the lone survivor’s significance became clear the day we took a boat ride to the preserved northern tip of Ambergris Caye.

Access to beaches being crucial for tourism, native mangrove forests are rapidly disappearing. These delicate tidal forests run parallel with coral reefs. Symbiotically, the mangroves purify the water from pollutants, and the corals flourish in the cleaned up H2O. Tidal mangrove forests stabilize the islands soil while providing habitat for creatures of land and sea to feed, mate, and give birth. All is recycled back. It is illegal to remove mangroves without permit. Sadly, with lacking 12

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photos: Nancy O. Albert

Belize is a new country, formally known as British Honduras, and independent since 1981. Native folks are short in stature, endearingly humble, and kind. Protective of their culture and slower pace of life, tourism is limited in San Pedro. That said, “progress� is marching forward, especially in regard to resort communities. More and more gas powered golf carts ramble the pot-holed thruways. More and more trash being hauled to the southern tip of the island.

one mature tree can have an appraised value between one thousand and ten thousand dollars. Do you have an enduring memory of one special tree in your life? Most folks do. A unique and priceless treasure, to be retrieved anytime, anywhere, for free. The fear of trees falling by Kris Solow People move to our neighborhood for many reasons, but I have heard over and over again that the main reason they move here is because of the trees. The trees’ infrastructure, regulations majestic and arching cathedral are not enforced. In response, of cascading canopies are the Ambergris Caye Wetland Committee was formed in 2012 intoxicating to its beholders. Yes, it is poetic. This view, as an advocacy group, giving voice to concerned citizens. Its however, is not seen by all. purpose- establish a network of Elizabeth has been victim to property owners who believe protected areas on the island. that because a tree is leaning Closer to home, two of the a certain way, or located in three massive trees on my a certain spot, that it or it’s small lot have been removed. limbs will fall and damage their Each one nearly a century old, house or business and it must and in decline, they posed an therefore be removed. unacceptable hazard. Twenty A tree properly maintained by five trees have been planted a certified arborist will have a here at Minor Manor, in far less chance of circumstance as many years. A canopy of than a tree that has never been change. Evolving a bit closer cared for. Think of a car that to eye level. never goes to the repair shop, Henry David Thoreau a house that never gets painted remarked “goodness is the only on the exterior, a person who investment that never fails”. never goes to the dentist. Why be good to your trees? Eventually, wear and tear takes Trees provide oxygen, shelter, its toll. A tree is no different. food, heat, shade, inspiration. A tree needs to be examined According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, regularly. When you are in your

yard, look at the base of the tree for any signs of damage to the roots like mushrooms. Healthy roots will keep a tree anchored, leaning or not. If your trees are not mulched, which they should be, look for root damage from lawnmowers or weed whackers. These areas can become decayed which lead to root rot. Then proceed up the trunk. Any holes from insects? Weeping holes? If you have any ivy crawling up the trunk, get it off. Now look at the canopy. Are there any branches that have no leaves on them (dead wood), or are broken off? These need to be pruned so they do not fall on your house. Winds will naturally dead wood a tree, but you want to get to the dead wood before that happens. These are just the basics of a visual examination that anyone can do. Trees need fertilization, water, and mulch, just like we need vitamins, water, and food to live a long healthy life. If you cannot do this, hire someone who can. But let’s get to the fear factor. If a tree is leaning towards a house, is it going to fall on the house? If it has a weak or damaged root system, if the canopy is heavy on that side, and if we have a storm with ice and/or high winds, then yes, it has a higher chance of falling on the house. But if the roots are healthy, then no, chances are it will remain tall. Trees can grow on the sides of mountains, over streams, and over houses for years without ever falling. the people pages


What will give an urban tree its best chance is for its’ owners to be engaged with its healthcare. Having it checked regularly by a certified arborist, a professional who is the best informant on the health of a tree, is key and will put the property owners fears to rest. An arborist will let an owner know when it’s time to remove a tree that is no longer safe. That’s his job. Now let’s talk about the owner who just wants a tree gone because they feel it is in the wrong place in the yard, or too big, or they want more sun, or they can’t see the street, or they just don’t like it there. Talking to an arborist or a landscape architect first who can give you choices as to shape or design can be quite helpful before making this decision. Trees can be limbed up to create a new shape or view, canopies reduced to allow more sun in, beautiful shade gardens designed to brighten the yard. Removing a tree is an expensive and neighborhood sensitive issue. I have known neighbors who have taken a tree down and then regretted not talking to a professional first. In the case of rebuilding on a lot, designing a home around a tree is not a hard thing to do, and an environmentally sensitive act. Bringing in a landscape designer before you build is the perfect sequence. The Charlotte Metro Credit 14

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Union on Central Avenue did this years ago and won awards for not taking any trees down when they built. I remember a bank across from Eastland Mall that did the same thing. Our own family built around a tree at our lake house in West Virginia. When my first home was built, I told the builders that they were not to take any trees down, especially the 2’ diameter willow oak that was sitting 8 feet away from one side of my house, my bedroom side, its limbs over the roof. It is still standing today, 40 years later. Our trees are our life source providing us oxygen to breathe, shade, energy savings, property value, and yes, peace. They shower an uncanny, unconscious presence upon us whenever we drive beneath them, and up our driveways from a long day at work. We marvel at their ever swaying grace, their whispering leaves awakening our ears, rustling in the soft winds. Their regal beauty instills wisdom and strength and stability to our senses. Never take a healthy tree down for fear of it falling, or because you don’t want it where it lives. You might as well take down the life of the entire neighborhood with it because we are all connected to each and every tree in Elizabeth. We are family, and we love our trees. Call a certified arborist or landscape architect first. Have no regrets.

Generations will benefit from recently planted trees in Independence Park by Kristan Magas Thank you to all that helped plant trees purchased with proceeds from the 2013 Elizabeth 8K Road Race. On January 25th, these 23 trees were planted in our neighborhood park with mindful cooperation between Mecklenburg Parks and Rec and the ECA to maximize the canopy, replacing many trees that have died or are aging out. With fire pit blazing, volunteers from The Golden Living Center and our neighborhood braved the freezing temperatures to plant the trees.  The Elizabeth Neighborhood owes much gratitude to the Elizabeth 8K Road Race for raising the funds to purchase the trees.  Thank you to Golden Living Center for also providing pastries and coffee and to Jackalopes for providing volunteers with delicious hot chili and sandwiches for lunch.  Please note, the 28th Annual Elizabeth 8K Road Race is March 29, 2014. As usual, the proceeds from this year’s race will benefit the replenishment of the canopy and overall beautification of the Elizabeth Neighborhood.  We encourage neighbors to volunteer or participate in the 28th Annual Elizabeth

8K Road Race, the oldest 8K Race in Charlotte. Race information can be found at Many generations of residents will benefit. The roots of the Elizabeth tree program by Ric Solow

photo: Nancy O. Albert

In 2004, fifteen years after Hurricane Hugo’s devastating effects on the trees of Elizabeth, the first effort in what has become an annual ritual of tree planting in our neighborhood was initiated when the Elizabeth Community was awarded a grant from the City of Charlotte for $17000.00 which resulted in the planting of over 200 street trees throughout our neighborhood. Two years later, in 2006, a grass roots group of neighborhood tree lovers came together to form a program to replace the more than 60 trees on Greenway lost to Hugo. That project resulted in the planting of 15 red maples. By 2008 the program was expanded to include the entire Elizabeth neighborhood and since then more than 125 trees have been planted in our yards and along our streets. Our program now works as a compliment to the city’s tree replacement program and as a contributor to Trees Charlotte, working in tandem to restore the heritage of Elizabeth’s and Charlotte’s tree canopy. the people pages


Each winter/spring season Elizabeth residents are offered an opportunity to add a tree to their yards at a great price while at the same time knowing that their investment is also a gift to the future generations of Elizabethans. A special thanks goes out to the ECA for allocating funds from the Elizabeth 8K Roadrace to support the tree program, to all the dedicated tree committee members past and present, and to the Elizabeth homeowners who have invested in the future of our beloved trees. City tree canopy holding steady by Steve Harrison (exerpted from the Charlotte Observer) Despite a surge of development over the past decade, a new study shows Charlotte’s prized tree canopy has remained steady, with 47 percent of the city under the shade of a tree. The city believes that in

2002 the city’s canopy was at 48 percent, and it was at 46 percent in 2008. The City Council’s goal is to grow the tree canopy to 50 percent of Charlotte by 2050. “It’s a bold but realistic goal,” said Tim Porter, the city’s urban forestry supervisor. “It will take a monumental effort.” (The) study was conducted by the University of Vermont by analyzing aerial images. The city said it was the most detailed tree study Charlotte has conducted, and it will give officials a benchmark to judge how canopies compare in the future. The city passed a tree ordinance in 2010 that’s designed to preserve trees in commercial developments. And in 2012, the city entered a partnership with the Foundation for the Carolinas to plant more trees. In the current fiscal year, which ends in June, Trees

Charlotte expects to plant 1,100 new trees. In the past two years, those trees have been planted in the city’s less affluent “crescent” – which is mostly west, north and east of uptown. The city’s most dense tree canopy is in south Charlotte, in some of the most affluent parts of the city. The study looked at areas of the city that had the most potential for planting new trees. Some of the city’s sparsest tree canopy is in southwest Charlotte near South Tryon Street; the city’s far-most southern neighborhoods near the South Carolina state line; near the campus of UNC Charlotte; and immediately north of uptown along Statesville Avenue. Trees Charlotte is able to plant trees in government-owned rights of way and on other government property, such as schools… But Porter and City Manager Carlee said that for the city to meet its 2050 goal, private property owners will have to increase their plantings. “We need people on private property to get involved.”. Trees 101: when, where, and what to plant by Paul Yandle It’s gratifying to plant a tree and tell someone, “See those large trees over there? I planted those in the summer


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of 1979. And those I planted in the winter of 1992. And these? Oh, yes…planted those just five years back.” Like little Johnny Appleseeds, we love to plant trees. I’ve planted many trees and I hope that you will enjoy and find helpful my basic evaluation process when considering what trees to consider, where to plant, and when to plant them. When to plant

growers resorted to harvesting stock during the dormant season, i.e. late Fall to late Winter, when it was thought that a dormant tree, that is, a tree not in growth mode, would better survive the transplant procedure. By the early 1960’s mechanical digging transformed tree planting for the grower, the contractor, and the end user. Extracting trees mechanically rather than by hand digging produced less shock to the plant, added versatility by being able to precisely tailor

photos: Nancy O. Albert

First, know that you can plant a tree anytime of year. Prior to the development of more modern methods

of transplanting, trees were harvested and replanted by the processes of either hand digging a root ball or by bare rooting, by which the soil or growing medium was separated from the root system, the root system pruned, and the soil-less tree transported to a new site and replanted in new soil. Both methods were time consuming, producing considerable systemic stress on the transplanted tree, reducing the odds of survival. To lessen the shock imposed on trees by hand transplanting methods,

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the root ball to the plant size, and dramatically improved the efficiencies of harvesting and planting. Trees could be dug quickly and easily, transported, and planted in greater numbers under most weather conditions, while enduring far less stress than hand excavation or bare root method. Nowadays, trees planted in Spring and Summer, when properly tended, survive and establish just as well as those planted during Fall and Winter. Are trees needed for shade, to screen an adjacent view, or to add structure and balance? Is there a need or desire for ornamentation or accent? What does the site itself call for? Considering lot size and taking into account the most probable maximum width and height of the mature plant, do you have the room and space to plant the specie you chose? Examine soil type and drainage. Will you be planting in clay, tallow, or loam? Pit gravel or construction debris? Good surface drainage and good percolation, or movement of water through the soil, are critical to how well any specie will grow and mature. A good rule of thumb for planting in heavy clays found throughout the Piedmont is to plant shade and evergreens slightly high and flowering ornamentals even higher. Plant trees such as oaks, maples, magnolias, and 18

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hollies one to two inches above grade; flowering dogwoods, fruits, and cherries as much as three inches above grade. I can’t overemphasize the need to plant the latter group of trees high. In my long career I’ve come upon hundreds of dead and diseased dogwood, peach, apple, and cherry trees perfectly planted throughout our locale at grade (level with surrounding ground), but very rarely have I seen problems and issues with these same species if planted a bit high. Additional considerations are not to obscure or hide the architectural charm of your home and to make certain you do not plant anything atop buried water, sewer, and irrigation services, nor within 36 inches of any buried public

utility serving or crossing your property. Always always, always have the buried utilities serving your residence located BEFORE you excavate planting pits for trees and shrubs and foundation trenches for additions and other structures on your property. Use the free locating services provided by North Carolina 811. Just call 1-800-612-4949; answer six simple questions and record the confirmation number the representative will provide. Your underground utilities will be located and marked with biodegradable paints or plastic flags within two to three working days of your request. Otherwise, if you damage a buried utility service and it doesn’t kill you… you’re liable for the damages.

photo: Nancy O. Albert

Where to plant

What to plant

Once you’ve determined where to plant and whether the planting location is amenable, consider what species of tree to plant. Consider the architectural style of your home. Is it formal or informal? Classical or modern? Traditional or transitional? Whether a mansion or bungalow, the architectural style of the home will most always give you clues as to where to plant and what species. A stately home design will call for stately trees, such as matching oaks or maples. A less formal home will present best with smaller scale maturing trees, such as birch, hornbeam, or elm. As Elizabeth is a mixture of architectural styles, the list of possibilities is endless. Additionally, take into account the tree canopy of the neighborhood. Which existing species seem to be thriving and doing well? Also look at your neighbor’s trees to avoid conflict or being redundant. And pat yourself on the back for contributing to Charlotte’s goal to replenish its tree canopy. The importance of tree and shrub fertilization by Matt Betz Why fertilize your trees and shrubs? Why invest your hard earned money to support a plant that has survived without your help for thousands of years? Think of it this way, you are a healthy human being,

you take your vitamins, drink your orange juice and exercise regularly. Without these additives in your life, would your body continue to operate at such a high level? Probably not. Now apply this thought to your landscape. Woody plants, both trees and shrubs have been around since the dawn of time; fertilizing has not. So why now? Simply put, trees, in their native environment rely on leaf decay to thrive and remain healthy. Now think back to this past fall, Willow Oaks, Maples and many other tree species littered your manicured lawn with dead foliage. If you are like most, either you, your lawn service or your free labor (your children) dedicated hours to removing the leaves from your property. After completing the task of hauling bags upon bags of leaf debris to the curb, you feel accomplished and proud to have successfully combatted the ever persistent surge that is the drop of spent leaves from the canopy above. While you enjoy the fruits of your labor by sitting on your porch enjoying a tall glass of lemonade, your trees are left wondering where their necessary nutrients will come from. You see, trees rely on these leaves to supply them with much needed nutrients that they need to thrive. I understand that the community that you have so much pride in would not be

so appealing if leaves were left on the lawn year after year to decompose in order to provide the best environment for your trees and shrubs to flourish. That’s where fertilizer comes in. The idea behind fertilizing your plant material is to replace the nutrients that we are taking away each time we rake the leaves off of our lawn. Doing so is most often done by injecting a fertilizer into the ground allowing the trees and shrubs to “take up” the nutrients through there root systems, feeding the woody plants in some cases up to two years. So you understand, feeding the trees and shrubs is simply returning the nutrients to the soil that removing the leaves from your lawn took away. This is not the only benefit though. There are numerous benefits that come about as a result to feeding trees and shrubs in your landscape. Some of these include: higher resistance to insect and disease infestation, quicker healing of injuries to trees and shrubs and increased health and vigor overall. Tree pruning by Brandon Hogan Most trees planted in the urban or residential landscape will require some type of pruning during their lives. The type of pruning a tree requires is generally dictated by a combination of factors; the people pages


the tree’s age, species, location in the landscape, proximity to surrounding homes or infrastructure, and the owner’s goals. Newly planted trees generally don’t require any pruning aside from the removal of any broken or diseased limbs, or any that will immediately interfere with the tree’s proper structural development. Structural pruning

Aside from a few cuts at the time of planting, most new trees shouldn’t require any pruning for several years. After 3 to 5 years in the landscape most young trees will benefit from pruning to promote a good overall structure, structural pruning. The form that structural pruning will take varies with species and goals, but overall is intended to reduce the occurrence of future defects in the tree’s canopy and trunk as it continues to grow and mature. Pruning for clearance

Many trees, regardless of size or age require pruning at some point to help them fit into their surrounding environment, pruning for clearance. Pruning for clearance can take the form of providing space between a tree’s limbs and the roof of a house or away from a deck or driveway. Generally working with the tree’s natural form to achieve the desired clearance goals is preferable to drawing 20

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an arbitrary line for a tree’s final height or width.

a tree isn’t actively growing (dormant).

Canopy cleaning

The type of pruning a tree requires is determined by a variety of factors. Because of the potential dangers involved in many types of pruning and the equipment and skill required, the advice and services of a certified arborist is a good investment to keep your trees healthy and as safe as possible throughout their lives.

As trees age, many have a tendency to promote more growth in the upper portions of their canopies and shed some lower growth leaving dead limbs that have the potential to damage property or hurt people. Pruning to remove dead limbs is generally called canopy cleaning and is the process of removing desired dead, diseased, or broken limbs to reduce the potential liability posed by a tree or reduce the risk of it damaging itself or targets nearby (House, car, birdbath, etc.). Although dead limbs are a natural part of most tree’s life cycle some can be an indication of bad health or other issues. A certified arborist can help determine the cause and required action(s). Crown reduction

Charlotte’s tree canopy is comprised of a good percentage of mature trees. As trees increase in size the forces placed on limbs, branch union, and the trunk increases as well. Pruning selective limbs or the entire canopy to reduce the length and weight of limbs can help to reduce the risk of their failure and prolong a mature tree’s life. This type of pruning is generally referred to as crown reduction pruning and should generally be done when

circus tree photomontage: Little Shiva // arts committee photo: Ric Solow

Playing with trees by Little Shiva Got a decade or so and plenty of patience? You might enjoy playing with trees. That’s what Axel Erlandson started doing back in 1925, creating one of the world’s most unique horticultural attractions. The Museum of Art History in Santa Cruz, California has a collection of his diaries, notebook and trade tools, plus some tree segments. His “Telephone Booth Tree” (dead) is on permanent display at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. And several of his “circus trees” are still alive and well at the Gilroy Gardens family theme park in Gilroy, California.

Public art coming to Elizabeth by Nancy O. Albert In January the ECA Art committee; Kris Solow, Terry Shipley, Sarah Gay and myself, received tremendous news. The Elizabeth neighborhood was chosen as one of the communities for the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership initiative, a community based public art project funded by the City of Charlotte and the Arts and Science Council. The grant proposal, written by Sarah Gay, was submitted to the panel in November. Twentytwo neighborhoods applied, but just five were selected for funding.

As I write, Kris Solow and I are planning to attend the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership Meet & Greet on February 19th at the ASC offices. There, we will meet the artist finalists and speak with them about their work. We then will return on February 21st for the artist selection meeting. At this meeting we will provide the panel information about our neighborhood, review the finalists and share our impressions from the Meet & Greet. The panel will then utilize our input to pair neighborhoods with artists. Needless to say, we are absolutely excited about this and anxious to move forward with the project.

The technique is grafting, basically, but go check out ol’ Axel on wikipedia: you’ve never seen grafting like this! What’s so amazing isn’t just the technique, but the creativity and vision that went into shaping these trees – not to mention patience. If you like tree shaping, there’s a garden not too far from Charlotte you might enjoy. It’s more classic topiary than grafting weirdness, but super cool in its own way. I’m talking about Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden in Bishopville, South Carolina. I’m not gonna take up space in the newsletter with links: just go to wikipedia and surf from there! the people pages


After 35 years as a performing company, you could call this the ‘creative chance of a lifetime’!

Great news for OMIMEO by Hardin Minor Hardin Minor and Eddie Williams, co-directors of the OMIMEO Mime Theatre (OMT), have recently been informed that their company has been selected as one of twelve performance ensembles nationwide to compete on a new performance artcompetition based television reality show. It will be produced by international production company SHINE AMERICA (SA), mid-April to mid-May, 2014 and broadcast on cable channel “TRUE TV”. SA will fly OMIMEO’s nine cast members to LA, put them up as long as they keep winning, provide per diem and pay all production expenses related to their creation of a weekly original 90 second sketch. 22

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OMIMEO was originated here in Charlotte and has contributed to the cultural fabric since 1978. OMT is a bona fide 501c 3 non-profit registered with the State of NC. Five of the current cast members are graduates of the UNCC Department of Theater & Dance (now Art& Architecture). Regardless who their fellow competitors will be, OMIMEO in fact will be representing Charlotte, the Queen City and the Great State of North Carolina.

Be assured OMT will give it their best shot and make their hometown proud! There may be some type of social media voting during the winnowing process at which point it would be great to have Charlotte dialed in and supporting them. Help OMIMEO

Spread the word that hometown artists are stepping into a national arena of competition; Provide public awareness so that a social media voting base could be activated quickly if needed; Stay in touch with OMIMEO’s progress: www.hardinminor. com/omimeo.html Wish’em luck! Here they go! Project Scientist Academy by Sarah Newman Registration now live! Project Scientist Academy is a five-

Project Scientist photos: Sarah Newman // centerfold photomontage by Little Shiva, big photo by Nancy O. Albert, leaf photos by Kris Solow

These new pieces will feature OMT’s creativity and technical expertise using ‘black light theater”. Should they prevail all four weeks of competition and be declared ‘champion’ by the 3 judge panel, OMIMEO would bring home the grand prize of $100,000.00.

week summer camp held at Queens University of Charlotte that provides an engaging and fun environment for girls, ages 4-12, with an aptitude, talent, and passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Academy brings together like-minded girls who enjoy exploring through the sciences and celebrating their accomplishments. It includes a real life lab and science setting that provides girls the confidence and vision to actually see themselves as a student in a university science lab someday. In addition, the Academy places a strong emphasis on maintaining small class sizes, a diverse student population, handson and experiential learning, interaction with female STEM professionals as mentors, enrichment activities that tie to the arts and design, and year-long and parent/family engagement. Project Scientist’s promise is to educate, coach, and advocate for girls and women with an aptitude, talent, and passion for science, technology, engineering and math. For more information or to register today, visit www.projectscientist. org. You can also contact projectscientistorg@ or704-363-6411.

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Spring! It’s right around the corner. To find seeds, farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food, check out .

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ECA 1-14  

Elizabeth Community Association newsletter, Charlotte, NC

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