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Given the practice of clear cutting by the town’s early settlers, as well as the pace of real estate development in more recent times, Chatham is fortunate to have a treasure trove of older, stately trees. Many of these elegant specimens are simply survivors of earlier times, while others were planted by former town residents to provide windbreaks and beautify their property. Today, our coastal landscape is dotted with oaks, maples, beech, lindens, pine and many other species of trees.
Chatham’s trees have become one of the town’s vital assets. Not only do they provide protection from the wind, but they also help purify our air and water, reduce surface runoff and impede erosion of soil. Trees supply a welcome habitat and source of food for birds and other wildlife. For the town’s homeowners, trees enhance property values and raise the community’s tax base. The visual appeal of trees attracts people to the town and makes Chatham a favorite tourist stop.
For all their scenic, environmental, and economic benefits, however, our trees remain vulnerable to development and natural causes of distress. Chatham’s Friends of Trees works with concerned citizens and the department of Parks and Recreation to plant new trees and preserve our current inventory of established trees. It is also our goal to educate people to the many benefits trees provide.
Tree conservation is important for all of us because a town that nurtures its trees is a healthier place to live and work.