A fight for urban trees

[caption id="attachment_427" align="alignleft" width="300"]Seattle Elm The remainder of this American elm in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, Heritage Tree No. 121, is a far cry from what it looked like in the photo, left, taken in 2007. It was cut last month, the resident of the lot said, because it had become a hazard and its roots caused sewer backups.[/caption]

The benefits of trees — from their grace and beauty to their gifts of cool, clean air and stress relief — are well-known and documented in study after study. Yet as the city grows, it is struggling to hold onto its trees, especially in poorer areas.

Seattle’s wealthiest neighbourhoods are also its leafiest, a Seattle Times analysis shows.

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