I see my treelawn as neighbor space. It doesn’t enhance the wildlife ecology or aesthetics of the street in ways that please me. (I try hard to accomplish that in the rest of my landscape.) But I live in a neighborhood where people love their dogs, walk their dogs, and, bless them, pick up after them. An important part of that happens on that little strip of grass under the shade tree in the tree lawn.
I have dozens of wonderful neighbors whom I’ve only met because they walk their dogs on my street and stop to say hello, or comment on my garden. I meet others because they need on-street parking, and appreciate a shaded, mowed area when they get out of their cars. Do I love the look of my conventional treelawn? Not really. But it’s a little sacrifice I offer in the name of community and sociability. And that’s a kind of ecology too.