Goodwin’s trees

Published 10:49 am Tuesday, March 8, 2011

To the Editor:
I have never taken exception to anything Garland Goodwin has said or written.
He is a solid citizen, a gifted writer and all-around good person.
But he wrote a piece recently declaring that trees were not appropriate for the corridor – the Gateway – leading to Columbus from the interstate.
I simply can’t agree.
I spent much of my working career in large-scale real estate development.
For years, I was vice president and general manager of the largest industrial real estate developer on the planet and for about four years just before I retired, I was privileged to serve as vice president for one of the oldest (1879) and most respected real estate developers in the nation that specialized in world-class office or business parks, emphasis “Parks.”
In both of those roles, I learned the true and undeniable value of “landscaping,” which is what we’re really talking about here.
In our office parks, for example, we typically invested $200-250,000 on each park entrance and more still on interior plantings, including thousands of flowering bulbs of various kinds, as well as a variety of decorative shrubs.
One park had more than 30 small ponds and one 34-acre lake, all part of an elaborate flood-control plan that was made incredibly appealing through creative landscaping.
But the key plantings were trees.
Our landscaping architect sought out large, mature “monument” or “specimen” trees to give the look that “we’ve been here awhile,” a reassuring and welcoming look of permanence, of durability. And, trust me, it works!
The only example that I can think of locally that comes close to what I’m talking about is the Milliken Campus in Spartanburg.
And the best-of-all example of magnificent landscaping can be seen in the surrounding, forested mountains, with the exception of Chocolate Drop, of course.
Garland expressed concerned about leaves and birds and litter. The selection of trees can minimize/eliminate the leaf problem. The placement of trees can minimize the bird problem.
Litter, a very real problem, is another matter that can only be relieved by the people who live here.

–– Bill Wuehrmann

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