The current discussion regarding tree protection is singularly focused on tree removal due to development. A comprehensive policy would include how and when to replace aging, diseased and dying trees. As we strive to deal with the effects of climate change, our tree canopy must be expanded, renewed and modified to include trees infrequently seen here in more moderate times.

My neighborhood is bounded by a green belt of dying madrone and big leaf maple trees, many that were planted decades ago and are now at the end of their life cycle. City crews respond to our concerns about the health of these trees and possible damage to our homes only when large limbs are broken off. This happens more often each season as our winter storms grow more severe.

Policies that encourage homeowners to actively participate in replacing these hazards with trees that can endure the changing climate forces would extend the useful life of our tree canopy. City leaders need to broaden the discussion of tree protection to include healthy tree expansion.

Kay Knapton, Seattle