Re: “Seattle’s gnarly battle over tree protection” [Aug. 21, Opinion]:

Missing from the discussions of tree canopy is citizen responsibility.

The proposed new rules are little more than feel-good gestures while demonizing developers of desperately needed housing, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections and Seattle Parks for their work.

No official is claiming that the few trees protected by the new regulations will affect Seattle’s estimated 28% canopy, nudging it to an aspirational 30%.

It is the forest, not the tree, that will make the difference.

As long as homeowners cherish their turf, and our environmentally inappropriate front lawns and grassy backyards remain mostly free of trees, Seattle will not reach its goal.

The city has a property finder that reveals the percentage of tree coverage for each parcel. Is it surprising that some of the homeowners writing opinions on trees may be emperors with no clothes?

John Nuler, Seattle