RE: Allergy-Free Gardening
My understanding of childhood asthma also was that the primary trigger for
most kids (genetic variability being what it is, your own experience may be
different) was cockroash droppings.
I agree with Adam that it smacks a bit of Ronald Reagan to blame the trees
for our pollution problem -- while adding more female trees might LOOK like
a more "reasonable" solution, the sad fact is that there is a significant
portion of the population that can't stand "messy" whether it is part of
nature or not. The English walnut tree I planted as a 16 year old produces
such outstanding walnuts now that I only very narrowly beat my own mother
this year for the Horticultural Excellent Award for Fruits and Vegetables,
Community Garden Divison (being my mother, she was really torn about being
happy for me for winning for my garlic and being bummed because SHE didn't
win! ;-)). However, for the past 5 years, her next door neighbor has been
bugging her to cut it down because the walnuts are "messing up his lawn."
This guy will go so far as to pick up all the walnuts that fall into his
yard, put them in a bag, and then throw the bag at my mother's door in
digust. Last year, he called the borough and tried to get them to rate it a
"nusiance tree" so that she would "have to cut it down." Luckily, the
borough said she was completely in her rights to have it on her property,
but that she would have to have have some boughs pruned on his property. He
called her every week from summer until fall until it was done (even though
she told him the tree would be pruned when it went dormant in the fall).
That walnut tree keeps our family supplied with nuts for pesto and baking
for the entire year, but her neighbor won't speak to her because it's a
Here in Phoenixville, an incredibly productive seedling apple tree was cut
down last month because the block didn't like the "apples making a mess on
the sidewalk when they fell or bouncing off the porch roofs." So, I'm not
so sure that spending money to graft male trees into pollen-free but "messy"
female trees is the answer -- I'm afraid it will only lead to more trees
being cut down because of "the mess."
On a national scale, city governments won't put forth the money to properly
care for the trees they currently have -- can we really expect that they
will fund more Streets Department people to clean up after the female trees?
I agree that childhood asthma is a *huge* problem, but I think funds to
reduce the problem would be better spent on ecologically-sound ways to
reduce cockroach and rat populations than to give our local trees sex-change
Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden
A mission of
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460
community_garden maillist - firstname.lastname@example.org