On the Ground with GRIT — The Nature Conservancy in Washington

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by Grace Lee Kang, Freelance Writer

When Jamie Robertson and his wife moved into their house in Tacoma, the pair of bigleaf maples residing in the front yard welcomed them to their new home. Nearly 75 feet in height, the trees’ branches and foliage soared high and wide, providing shade and cooler temperatures all afternoon to the home and its residents.

But then several years ago, Robertson, a geographer at The Nature Conservancy, started to notice a change in the trees’ health. He recalled, “If we had set up a timelapse, you could have seen the damage move from one side of the tree to the other in an eerie way—with dead brown leaves on one side and vibrant, green foliage on the other.” Ultimately, the tree declined enough to require removal.



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