Monday 25 May 2015

101 uses for a nearly dead Ginkgo tree

We've noticed 4X4 drivers often have to deal with the problem of street trees when they park off-road in Bristol. Even in RPZs. Even in 20 MPH zones. Even near schools.

Fortunately many of these trees are now stumps and some of the stumps have been there so long that they are rotting into the ground and the removal can be accelerated by a little nudge. In time they will be tarmaced over but in the meantime the tree pits provide a little offroading experience.
Unfortunately some of the street trees that are planted, such as London Plane trees, grow quite quickly and rapidly provide the amenity and canopy cover that "environmentalists" love to promote at the expense of proper off-road pavement parking.  
However... Not the humble Ginkgo tree. It's a relic of the age of the Dinosaurs (and a conifer to boot - don't let those weird leaves and the fact it sheds them in winter fool you). 
This particular specimen has hung between life and death and remained the size it was planted for about a decade. 

The question as to whether urban trees have any purpose is maybe too philosophical for this blog. But in a very practical sense this particular tree has finally found its purpose and meaning in life in modern day 20 MPH Bristol.  
It is providing security for a traffic counting and speed measuring device.

Speeds on 20 MPH Redland Road are, of course, consistently well above 20MPH, so this tree may finally contribute in some small way to the urban fabric by helping Bristol City Council to calm the traffic down this very steep hill where even cyclists regularly exceed 20MPH whilst car, van and lorry drivers overtake them with gay abandon, because they Must Get In Front.
We are struggling to come up with a single other use for this or any other Ginkgo so finding a further 100 uses may be a tall order.

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