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Creating Canopy

Articles: Creating Canopy

Native from British Columbia to northern California, Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) is a long-lived tree that grows faster than given credit for. Photo: Jim Gersbach

Seeking out the shade is something we’re all likely to do more of here in the Northwest as temperatures inexorably rise over the course of this century. Compared to the last three decades of the 20th century, average temperatures are forecasted to rise between 2 and a sizzling 8.5 degrees Fahrenheit by the years 2041–70 warns the Oregon Climate Change Resource Institute. Unless greenhouse gas emissions worldwide start dropping soon, expect more heat waves like the one that gripped Europe in the summer of 2003. Daytime temperatures soared above 100 degrees for over a week in many places, resulting in some 70,000 heat-related deaths.

The breakneck growth of cities is worsening the urban heat island effect where pavement and buildings absorb the sun’s heat during the day and radiate it back at night. Couple that phenomenon with waste heat generated by cars, lawnmowers, computers, and air conditioners, and city dwellers swelter more than the...


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