The Lorax of Nashville

There’s one citizen who’s made a name for himself preserving Nashville’s urban trees.  He calls himself the Lorax of Nashville, for he speaks for the trees.

Jim Gregory lives in East Nashville and is alarmed at the rate of tree canopy loss in his neighborhood.  “There is a noticeable amount of mature trees being cut down and either not being replaced or being replaced with something that does not have a tree canopy,” he told The Tennessean.  He’s especially concerned about developers who are in it for the money — and who only care about the trees when money is involved, he claims.  In an Instagram post, Gregory wrote, “Developers do not understand neighborly love, but they do understand money and that’s the language we had to speak with them.”

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We had to hire an arborist and an attorney to save our boundary tree on the left side of this picture from being cut down by a developer. The arborist helped us value the tree at over $25k. Once we sent a letter to the developer stating the value of our tree that they just wanted to cut down without asking us permission, they began working with us. The tree is now protected by contract to have a tree protection fence be built around it, they must put 10" of mulch on the roots, only a certified arborist can make cuts, and they changed the foundation of their house to pier and beam construction in order to avoid cutting thru the roots. If they violate any of this agreement, they are liable for the value of this tree plus attorney fees. We did not want to do this, but we wanted our tree to be left alone. Developers do not understand neighborly love, but they do understand money and that's the language we had to speak with them. Unfortunately the other 100 year old tree in the background was completely owned by them. It didn't need to be cut down, but they did it anyway. Nashville needs to get their act together and get more stringent tree protection codes. #Nashville #eastnashville #trees #tree #arbordayfoundation

A post shared by Jim E. Gregory (@lorax_of_nashville) on

In addition to looking out for the trees of his neighbors and future neighbors, he’s done a little reforestation of on his own property:

Head on over to Jen Todd’s piece in The Tennessean for the whole story.

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