Ecology + Design

Jay Archer to Testify on Behalf of Tree Ordinance at Tonight’s Rye City Council Meeting

Rye City Council Tackles Tree Ordinance

Tonight’s Rye City Council meeting (6:30 PM at Rye City Hall) will tackle a breadth of issues, not in the least the ongoing discussion about strengthening the city’s tree ordinance.

As part of the agenda tonight, the public hearing with adjourn while council members amend chapter 187 “Trees” of the city code. The working draft of the new code will then be presented at the meeting, with an open mic comment period to follow. See the full Rye City Council meeting agenda here.

Photo courtesy of MyRye.Com shows clearcutting of 40 mature trees on Turf Lane in Rye.

Residents Speak for the Trees

Jay Archer plans to testify in support of a stronger city tree ordinance, to prevent careless clearcutting, like what recently occurred on Turf Lane in February.  Below are Jay’s remarks.

It’s getting hard to breathe around here in tree city. 

A little historical perspective: as recently as 200 years ago our landscapes were populated by some large, mature, native trees, rich in biology and ecosystem services. Chestnut, elm, dogwood, sugar maple, birch, beech. 

We are rapidly losing our trees, our native trees, especially in terms of diversity.

Ash, elm, dogwood, hemlock, sugar maple and now, most frightening of all, beech (thanks to beech leaf disease). 

Look around today, most of our trees are 75-100 years old, planted during the last time clearcut logging took place, at least on a large scale. These trees are teenagers. Very important teenagers, especially to the health of the landscape environment.

Older trees are quite precious and in fact priceless in that they communicate chemically and physiologically to plants around them, they share their strength and wisdom about how to survive in a changing and ever more polluted climate.

We can’t propose to replace a 100-year-old tree with ten infants, they don’t have the wisdom, the irreplaceable value ecologically, for human health. 

The real threat to human health is not climate change, global warming and fossil fuels, it’s a lack of actual probiotic biology…microbes. The clean air we breathe and the microbes which are cultured and nurtured by trees and plants are essential to our immune system to prevent pollution, disease and premature aging. We avoided contact and direct touch and communication with each other because our bodies lacked vitamin D and sufficient probiotic life to overwhelm Covid. Our life, our biology comes from plants… from trees.

They clean the water and the air, they allow us to breathe. They are our lungs.

We should value them like our life depends on it, because it does!

Come to The Power of the Trees program in Bedford on March 25th to see what a caring, engaged, aware community looks like.


Do it for your children and your children’s children.


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