The Tall Trees Are Falling North of Hermann Park


These mighty fallen timbers are just “one of the costs of development,” writes a reader with a commanding, bird’s-eye-view of Tema Development’s just-commenced addition to the Parklane amid its planned four-phase Hermann Park-side portfolio. “I’d love to know when these trees were planted and what was originally on the lot. Purely based on size, most appear to be 30 to 60 years old and many are larger than the trees in Hermann Park.”



The reader estimated the arboreal casualty count to be consist of one-third each of live oaks and pines, with the remaining portion a mixed bag including a couple of mature red oaks.

Photos: Swamplot inbox


22 Comment

  • Just one more chapter of Houston’s never-ending war against trees.

  • If it’s not park property, or in the “right of way”, why are you even mentioning this? Trees will come down for development. Tale as old as time. When did this site become so trigger happy on tree hugging?

  • Argh! When my husband and I first moved to Houston we stayed in the Parklane with his mom, and we loved to sit on the balcony and watch the hawks in those trees. I hate to see this. Part of the charm of that building was having that open space as a buffer. And now, pfft, it’s gone.

  • In some parts of the country, trees are valued by developers. Not here. Many of them hate anything green. Entire lots reduced to 100% artificial with driveways (yes driveways) as the entire front yard. Cities need trees for cooling, regulating temperature; loss of trees = heat sink (abnormally high temps) plus trees help filter dirty city air. When developers mow the trees down, they are stealing from the common good for the sake of greed.

  • Had the oil bust of the 80’s not happened those trees would have been long gone. TEMA’s original development proposed three similar towers. I lived at the Parklane in the mid 80’s. There are a many fewer trees in that lot since I was there. Storms and drought are not friends to pines. See the link for an image of the original Parklane apartments built in 1940.

  • and yet, this is exactly why we should all heartily endorse adding density in urban areas. these trees are making way for 224 residences. anyone know what this scene would like if we were clearing land for 224 residences in spring, woodlands, sugarland and such? the more people that can live and want to be in-town, the better we all are for it.

  • I’m guessing these trees were planted by a squirrel or a bird who crapped out a seed.

  • OMG! Some trees got cut down! OMG! OMG!!! The horror! The horror! It’s a war on trees!

  • Can we create a sub-blog that only focuses on trees that have been cut down?

  • I’d wouldn’t mind about losing the trees so much if the architecture of the new building was better.

  • Keep in mind that at the time Rice University was created, around 1912, and construction started on the campus, there were almost no trees in that part of town, other than along the creeks. It was flat, featureless prairie. Here’s a picture from the early days

  • This lot is always interesting to walk by , its basically been a fenced in nature preserve since the 80s. Sad to see it go, but glad more folks will be able to enjoy Hermann Park like I do, arriving on foot.

    I’m still annoyed with Hermann park “conservancy” for killing mature trees for their new parking lot across the street from this development (gotta get that wedding cashflow rolling). I think its absurd that Montrose HEB could respect mature trees, but the “conservancy” doesn’t.

  • Reminds me of the joke:
    How many Irishmen does it take to change a light bulb?
    One man to climb th’ ladder and replace th’ light
    and nine guys to stand aroun cryin in ther beers discussin what a fine one that Old Bulb was.

    But I’m one of those sad-sack mourners.
    It remains true today, as ever, that he who plants a tree invests in the next generation, and, they’re not making any 50-year-old trees anymore.

  • Awesome photo, Ross!

  • Meh…who cares as long as we’re getting more density and buildings in the loop!

  • Greg: I don’t think developers care about trees one way or another. They care about making money. And they make money by providing a product that people want. If they could sell a house by more by leaving a tree on the lot, they would.
    Don’t blame developers for knocking down a tree on their lot, blame the home buyers that don’t value them.

  • Overall, people in Houston appreciate trees and nature to a large extent. Just drive through many of the neighborhoods and look at the beautiful landscaping. For those posters who don’t care and don’t like these kinds of news articles here, no one is forcing you to read the articles or comments.

  • Pine Trees Dude, pine trees.
    Lets talk for a moment about Pinus taeda – while is may seem reckless to identify the species without a cone or bark sample, I’m feeling confident today knowing that 29 out of 30 pines in Houston are Loblolly pines. So anyway, its a landscaping tree, fastest growing pine (often described as rapid), somewhat drought tolerant and did I say it was a pine tree of least concern? Shallow tap root makes them terrible in a hurricane (almost as bad as Palmus suburbia). Probably best not to speculate on age because without a ring count there there is no way to know… not even guess, unless you know if the tree was fruit bearing then you could probably assume the tree is at least 10 years of age.
    So… maybe not as tragic as initially thought?

  • I guess because I am an unreconstructed treehugger and fern fondler, I get especially vexed when people try to make trees take the blame for sprawl. Just so we’re all clear: Houston’s regional forest has been greatly depleted even as its standard density has increased.
    So: fine, you’re happy for the city to lose these trees – but do not promulgate the falsehood that trees are being saved in Montgomery County as a result.

  • We are in a catch-up mode. The market doesnt have the luxury to be selective. We need housing and so it is going up fast and brutal. Once everything balance out, my guess is you will see more new homes saving old growth trees as well has less cookie cutter designs.

  • Dan- This is supposed to be a Houston real estate blog, not an OMG they cut another tree down blog.

  • I like trees. I live in the neighborhood. I never found those trees particularly beautiful. Tall, yes, but not beautiful. The oaks on Main, around Rice, and in other neighborhoods are beautiful. The trees in the Pacific Northwest are massive and beautiful. Not these trees, though.
    Do we still live in some fantasy world that thinks a city of 4M+ residents can afford to not be dense?