Eutsler mapped requests to the city for trees along streets last year and found a heavy concentration in Northwest and Capitol Hill but merely a sprinkling in the city’s poorest wards.Environmentalists are pushing city trees, and that policy meshes with the values of the affluent, so that lots of trees make a neighborhood look affluent, and you might think it would be good to bestow trees on the poorer neighborhoods, but what if poor people don't like trees?
Doris Gudger of Anacostia is among those who see little to like about lots of trees. When city crews showed up one recent day and planted some in front of her rowhouse in Southeast Washington, she wanted them gone.
The pollen would aggravate her allergies, she said. The leaves would be a pain to rake. The shade would draw drug dealers. And, she feared, soon would follow affluent gentrifiers and higher taxes, pushing out older residents like herself.
April 27, 2013
"There’s a strong relationship between how many dollars you have and how many trees you request to be planted in your neighborhood."
Said Earl Eutsler, of Washington D.C.’s Urban Forestry Administration.