Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tree protection law gives no protection to Southern Live Oaks slated for removal to accomodate parking lot; Miami, FL

Solid as an Oak Tree, Dead as a Door Nail:
Written by Terence Cantarella
They’re in the Design District, they’re old and majestic, and they’re about to be destroyed

Miami art collectors Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz are well along in the construction of their expansive new Design District museum that will showcase their world-renowned collection of contemporary art. It is scheduled to open in time for Art Basel Miami Beach in December. And although their art may be new, across the street from their building, where they’re planning a parking lot, they are dealing with something much, much older: oak trees.
Two 80-foot-tall Southern Live Oaks, estimated to be nearly 100 years old, rise from the soil like living monuments at the rear of the vacant lot at 28 NE 41st St., their wide evergreen canopies casting precious shadows over this corner of a sun-blasted city. Miami, in fact, is ranked among the worst in the nation for tree canopy. “Born” in the early part of the last century, the twin oaks have matured with the neighborhood as it went from agricultural seclusion to mid-century ritz to drug-ravaged slum and finally to its present incarnation as the Design District, one of Miami’s most vibrant commercial areas.
Those two stately oaks, however, may soon fall to the chainsaw.

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