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Health & Science

What Do We Lose When We Lose Trees?

Tim Slover
Salt Lake City resident Katie Clifford sit on a favorite, fallen tree in Liberty Park.

This week, as most Utahns prepared to ease back into the work week following the long Labor Day weekend, 50-100 mile-an-hour winds ripped through northern Utah, shutting off power to large swaths of the area and toppling thousands of trees.

Beyond the destruction, the smashing of cars and in some cases, homes, what happens to a city when it loses so many trees? Are these winds that took so trees nature's way of clearing out and making room for the new? Friday at 11 a.m., we’ll look at the natural patterns of trees, as well as our emotional, mental and physical costs when those big, beautiful stately trees come crashing down. Ecologist Nalini Nadkarni told us that trees have always lived at the mercy of great forces of disturbance like wind, and while trees are designed to withstand these forces, sometimes, they do succumb. We’ll share some tales of trees and discuss what the destruction of trees means for the tree-lovers in many of us.