Due to a premature and prolonged warm spell this April, Medina’s flowering trees — streets and streets of white pear and crab apple– have burst into a tsunami of blossoms that have lasted longer than usual.  Driving or walking down certain streets in town is like entering a fragrant cloud canopy.

This legacy of beauty comes to us courtesy of the Shade Tree Commission and its commitment to the creation of a “healthy urban forest” in Medina.

Created about thirty years ago by the city administration, the Shade Tree Commission is an offshoot of the national program, Shade Tree U.S.A. The Medina group began with $1,600 — a small amount even then — and a handful of passionate volunteers.  Perhaps the most passionate was the late and legendary Harold Thoburn, an Agricultural Extension Agent who, upon retirement, devoted all his time and energy to the Shade Tree Commission.

The group began planting trees in the tree lawns of old and new residential streets, as well as on other public properties.  Flowering trees were not the only types selected.  The Commission also planted Golden Rain trees, oaks, maples and sweet gum trees.

“Trees are selected because of their suitability to a particular tree lawn,” says Virginia Jeandrevin, one of the original members of the Shade Tree commission.  “This varies from neighborhood to neighborhood.”

Over the years, the budget of the Shade Tree Commission has increased and ten years ago, the City of Medina hired a full time City Forester.

Virginia Jeandrevin also points out that in surveys of what residents consider important in a community, an abundance of trees is listed in second or third place. (Schools are first.)

Well then, is there anyone who is not happy with this profusion of petals?  Unfortunately, yes.  Consider the plight of all the allergy sufferers, plagued with the worst pollen conditions in years, consigned to the indoors with nothing to do but ingest their medications.

(Photos by David Brown)

Beautiful? Yes, unless you suffer from allergies.

One Response to “Legacy of Beauty”

  1. Karen Gray Says:

    As an allergy sufferer and defender of blossoms, allow me to dispel the stubborn rumor that flowers cause allergies. Despite what nearly every allergy medication commercial on television would have you believe, the pollen of flowers is NOT the cause of common ‘hayfever’! Flowers, by nature, are beautiful and fragrant beacons to attract pollinating insects, which are required to carry the pollen from one blossom to another for fertilization. Flower pollen which, I must adamantly point out, is too heavy to be borne by air to its destination, and therefore, is never able to enter the allergy sufferer’s nose! No, allergies are caused by the lightweight, wind-borne pollen of trees such as maple, elm and ash, most grasses, and by late summer wind-pollinated weeds such as the infamous ragweed (not the pretty goldenrod, which blooms simultaneously).

    So please don’t bash the innocent flower! And allergy sufferers, go ahead inhale that fragrance with gusto! Just don’t stick your nose deep into the flower and inhale! :-)


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