Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
Are we lucky to have great avenues and sidewalks of shade trees in Hyde Park or what? How? Why? Most of Hyde Park had very few trees when it was first developed. An old picture of our Boulevard home, from the 1920s I believe, sadly shows only a few spindly palms, with no shade! In the mid ’50s, Laurel Oaks were planted in the Hyde Park area, due to their fast-growing nature. But Laurel Oaks only live roughly about 50-70 years. So in 2013 the Tampa Urban Forestry Department announced their plan to remove the large, sickly Laurel Oaks throughout Hyde Park.
Hyde Park neighbors Harold Walker and Missy Schukraft, realizing the need to preserve our famed Hyde Park tree canopies, formed the Hyde Park Treescape Committee. The Hyde Park Preservation Inc. (HPPI) and the City of Tampa provided funding and support.
Starting in the spring of 2014, Walker and Schukraft replaced dead Hyde Park Laurel Oak trees with several types of trees. Since 2014 they have planted:
- 12 Bald Cypress trees (a native tree in the swamps, which does well in wetter areas)
- 105 Live Oak trees (grade “A,” four-inch-diameter “Roots Plus” Live Oaks, grown directly from seed).
Why Live Oak Trees? Live Oaks generally live 200 years or much more! Incidentally, mature trees aren’t just pretty, they increase property value, reduce utility cost due to added shade, absorb harmful carbon dioxide and pollutants, and emit healthy oxygen.
Hyde Park Preservation Inc. (HPPI) is committed to seeing this project through. They are working with homeowners to plant more replacement trees as older trees continue to die in our neighborhood.
Take a walk through our neighborhood, and enjoy the shade and beauty of these trees! And thank you very much for your continued support of Hyde Park Preservation Inc. (HPPI), which allows this tree project to continue making Hyde Park green!