Atlantic City’s trees, which already contend with hurricanes, salt water, pollution, icy winters and scorching concrete, are now also showing wear and tear as a result of the city’s financial crisis and its haphazard patchwork of planning rules. Since the Public Works department’s budget was slashed amid city-wide cuts, there are fewer people on hand to prune, water and care for the city’s greenery. Now, damaged trees are causing hazards and few replacement trees are being planted. City trees matter because, as every elementary school kid knows, they give us oxygen. But they can also help increase property values, make a city more attractive and do useful things like provide shade and suck up storm-water runoff. The importance of having a so-called urban forest is part of state and city law.