This Week In Tree Abuse

It's not so much the lack of skill among tree trimmers, though undoubtedly there is plenty of that to be found.  The original sin is, of course, incorrect planting.  This week in Tree Abuse,  why not to plant four Pinus canariensis just three feet (1 M) apart:

The Monstera deliciosas are fairly tidy, but those stones are slightly under scaled:
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Two Pines have been uh...trimmed as the photo shows.  The other two are not blocking the sidewalk, so they remain untouched.  There are several more 60-80' trees planted between the house and the sidewalk around the corner.  This house sits aside a high-traffic road, so I imagine the trees were envisioned as a screen of some sort.   It is indeed a screen of some sort.  

I usually do not directly photograph a house, preferring side shots, but take a look at this straight on shot of the house:

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How about that.  Actually this could be a very beautiful tree given a little (a lot?) of skilled trimming.  It is safe to say there is plenty of material to work with.  At least it is only one tree, not four.  (I think).  And the other side of that:

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Some wretched junipers crammed in together and then trimmed flat to leave the sidewalk accessible.  There appears to be a pattern of over planting here.  No, the RV is not the house; there is a house back there. 

I do not mean to ridicule this property at all.  This is a melancholy sight, not a joke.  There is a story to be told, and from the outside looking casually on, it looks to be a sad one.  Is there a tragedy behind every neglected house?  Or just people who never go outside.  Wait--people who never go outside--that is a tragedy, too.   

Every improperly planted tree is a tragedy--too minor to be noticed by most of us, because there are so many other larger and more compelling tragedies in the world.  Small tragedies, though--fixing them or preventing them is within our control.  The big tragedies of life may be too big for all of us, but the smaller ones can be prevented.   Or so I delude myself into hoping.  

We were out Sunday and paused to look at a superb mature Quercus the size of your average McMansion.  We had been talking about planting a Quercus agrifolia where the fountain currently sits.  

"That's too big," I said.  
"How fast will it get that big?  By then it will be somebody else's problem," Beloved said. 
"But then it will have to die."
"But in the meantime, it will live."  

He had me there. 




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