by Diana Nelson Jones
Highmark declares on a plaque in a planter along Liberty Avenue that “the roof is alive” on the terrace of Fifth Avenue Place.
A 22,000 square-foot green roof on the terrace creates “a flowering meadow” on 180 tons of soil media, but the little tree right behind the plaque is strangled in Christmas lights and dying of thirst.
update: Highmark spokesman Aaron Billger said he tracked down the maintenance guy who told him the street-level planter is watered daily through a built-in irrigation system.
"The maintenance man said that in the last two days he has noticed the change [in that tree.] In this heat, things are taking a beating."
In my post below is a list from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society on how to keep your trees alive in drought and heat.
I could spent five days a week, eight hours a day bringing you images and descriptions of trees that are in the conditions pictured here. Some don't look as tortured but are in worse condition.
This tree on Liberty near the Heinz Hall plaza is strangled in Christmas lights, has a construction sign up against it like a splint and its root flare, such as it is, is corseted by an iron grate and further burdened by the pedestal of the splint and a heap of sandbags.
This tree made it through its first year, when trees need nurturing, only to be treated like this.
It is alive in spite of it all.
But a whole row of trees planted a year ago are dead along Merchant Street on the North Side. Most of the dozens and dozens of brand new trees making promising green along Fifth Avenue through Uptown and in the Strip District and Lawrenceville are still being held stable by braces and they are all dying of thirst.If we can’t respect them or help them when they need us the most, we don't deserve them.