Trees are great, but trees in and around prairies can negatively impact habitat quality for many grassland plant and animal species and provide points of introduction for invasive species. Encroachment by trees has become a major threat to prairie conservation in many landscapes.
A few months ago, I cut across the courthouse lawn on my way home from the office (I was walking – it’s a small town). On the west side of the courthouse, there are a number of statues and other monuments memorializing veterans of various wars. In the midst of those, however, is a very different kind of memorial (pictured below). This plaque-on-concrete memorial got me thinking – yet again – about our relationships with trees, our desire to plant and care for them, and how that affects our former, current, and future relationship with prairie.
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