What We Do To Trees: Shanghai Edition

My Beloved went to Shanghai on business, and brought back some interesting photos.   Newly planted or transplanted trees have their trunks wrapped in rope...is it for stress reduction?  Or cold protection? 

There's also a small support installed next to the trunk, two verticals and a crossbar, often made of just branches. 

The current style here in California for supporting young trees is two tall verticals with the tree supported between them by rubber straps, the tree allowed to flex with the breezes to a certain point.  The belief is that a certain amount of flexing strengthens the trunk;  that holding the trunk rigid is actually bad  since the trunk cannot build up strength if held motionless.  China's method of rope-wrapping plus small support--I'd be interested in a professional Arborist's take on that idea.   In the sub-tropical climate of Shanghai, the fiberous ropes must rot away after a relatively short amount of time.  

Rope-wrapped tree in Pudong New Area District, Shanghai:
Rope-wrapped tree trunk, Shanghai

The other interesting feature of tree planting in Shanghai is that most all of them were planted on mounds a couple of feet higher than the surrounding soil.   Drainage?  My Beloved tried to communicate with the local gardeners, but their English was no better than most of the gardeners here in California. 

Trees planted on mounds (no, they are not mulch volcanos) in Shanghai, China:
Elevated trees, Shanghai

The same trees, from above, left hand side of photo:
The elevated trees from  above

Other interesting plantings in Shanghai are civic standards world-wide.  Pelargoniums and Petunias seem to be as much the potted annuals of choice in Shanghai as well as the rest of  the planet.  People seemed to be enjoying them. 

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As universal as potted Pelargoniums fast food!:
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The Four Sacred Dragons hold up the world, while the Colonel smiles upon them:
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The lush view from the hotel breakfast bar window shows Shanghai's subtropical climate, hot and humid:

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There was a patch of landscape roses nearby, but humid heat is murder for roses.  I speculate they must be regularly doused in fungicide to be able to hold their foliage in what must be Blackspot heaven:
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More successful was a group of succulent covered mesh geese rising from a canal flowing out of one of Shanghai's two rivers.

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My Beloved was unable to determine the type of plants the geese were wearing.  A gardener came to tend them at one point, but he didn't speak much English either, beyond the universal language of a nod and a smile.  
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Back at home, I was admiring some local examples of What We Do To Trees:  first we hack them, and then we let them die.  Here are a couple of what used to be Liquidambars in a local parking lot.  

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Can't two thousand  years of Western Civilization do better than this?

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Comments

  1. The city came through and did all the trees on our street, even cleaning up the palms. We were dumbfounded, after years of pleading. Maybe it was stimulus/grant money. The didn't do too bad on the trees. It could've been worse and something needed to be done. Just got back from Filoli in NoCal where the size and maturity of the trees makes you want to weep. And lovingly cared for by a knowing arborist. I don't know what's hated more as a parkway tree by residents, the liquidambar or the jacaranda. I say make the parkways bigger, make the streets narrower. And there's a squirrel in our parkway that loves the jacaranda pods.

    Back on topic...Maybe the tree mounds are aesthetics, to raise the height of the middle row of the allee? Wish we knew!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was also thinking the mounds were aesthetics, (okay, I thought "mulch volcano" first) but Beloved said the mounds were everywhere, not just in that allee. Maybe so lawn mowers wouldn't gouge the base and kill the tree? It's fun to guess.

    Filoli is heaven for more than just the trees.

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  3. Tree butchery aside, I think those liquidambars succumbed to bacterial leaf scorch.

    I recognize that Curves! There's a Ruby's next to it.

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