Are poplars afraid of the dark, or the trespass of sodium lights?

Poplars bathed in a sodium nightlight

Having lived mostly in urban areas it is memorable when the lights go out in the basement and true feel-your-way darkness begins.   Such blackness never occurs outdoors in our cities, and increasingly prevalent “security lighting” is making it difficult to find a dark night even in rural areas.  “Light trespass” is a term used to describe undesirable and sometimes completely unacceptable illumination across property lines  (www.darksky.org/assets/documents/is076.pdf ).  In recent years several Michigan communities with long histories of tourism and respect for the environment have enacted ordinances that regulate outdoor lighting, especially when it creates glare or encroaches on property lines.  Do trees, the permanent residents of this hillside,  mind this sort of nightlighting?

For people, it will be several years before the poplars planted just south of this powerful “security beacon” provide sufficient screening to make campfires or any recreational use of this area enjoyable even in summer.   In the meantime the “sodium cityscape” is on display.

An unshielded streetlight-type luminare placed too high and close to the property line produces light trespass

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