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Letters, Jan. 26

No half steps

Regarding the reporting on the proposed Japanese Garden redesign in Lithia Park. First off, I love the park’s trees. Some of my earliest childhood memories involve playing in those magical groves. However, let us remember that the conifers in question are ornamental second-growth plantings, less than 100 years old, younger than more and more grandparents these days!

Conifers cast a wide shadow, and as the two conifers proposed for removal have grown, the existing Japanese-esque garden has suffered from less and less sunlight, the food source for photosynthesizers. Toro Tanaka is a Japanese Garden expert, so I imagine he wants to deliver a garden that will delight generations and honor the traditions of his artistic profession. It would be irresponsible for the residents of Ashland to let the uninformed emotions of some in the community conquer the splendor of an authentic Japanese Garden as well as simple horticultural and forest science.

Removing two large conifers out of the dozen is only a 17 percent reduction in trees and it will enhance the botanical and cultural biodiversity in the park. There truly should be no discussion on this matter. We must not take half steps with this once-in-a-lifetime Japanese Garden redesign. You cannot make an omelette without breaking some eggs!

Luke Brandy, professional forester


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