Crape Myrtle vs. Oak: Are Oaks That Slow?
Yesterday, from about the same point of view, about half of 'Dynamite' is hidden behind the oak:
'Dynamite' has grown moderately. In contrast, the oak is the one with explosive growth. Note that 'Dynamite' is a smaller variety of Crape Myrtle and therefore a season's growth is modest. Yet the growth of the oak is still a surprise.
Late August 2015:
This angle shows the oak was not only smaller in 2015, but also less substantial:
See through oak tree in 2015. The 'Yellow Bird' Leucadendron was also much smaller.
Late August 2015. Note the tall Eucalyptus behind the neighbor's house on the far right. It fell over a year or two ago and was removed.
Early August 2018.
There will soon be many more open flowers on the 'Dynamite's:
Huh. How 'bout that?
I've not trimmed or limbed-up the oak in any way. All the ones you see for sale are lolly-popped. I'm letting this one grow and gain as much strength as possible. One thing I recently read about Q. agrifolia is what an insect magnet they are. Nearly every insect in California finds some part of an oak delicious. This sounds bad.
On the other hand, every bird in California is drawn to the oaks because there are all sorts of delicious insects to eat. When I am out front there are always multiple birds foraging in the oak. Not bad after all!
One more then-and-now: looking towards the back of the property. The old neighbors in the back had a bunch of weed trees and one beautiful native oak in August of 2015:
Yesterday. Some of the trees are gone, including all the weed palms. Unfortunately, the new neighbors hard-pruned their oak tree, but so far it has not died. It is advised to remove no more than 25% of an oak canopy; that one lost about 75%.
Their house is more visible, but the fire danger is much reduced. The area is more open, making our property seem more spacious--for a while. The new neighbors planted five olive trees and two avocado trees, all three feet apart, back there. At least the new trees are back from the property line somewhat, and once the neighbors received some $1,000 water bills, the water will get cut back and the trees will grow minimally. Such is my hope. The new trees will also be competing with a Godzilla-sized, long established Bougainvillea. I could hear the neighbors surprised at the Bougie growing back after it was cut to the ground and sprayed with weed killer. Hah! As if that would affect it.
I planted a pair of Callistemon 'Slim' to screen out the house, and one is already taller than the wall. We also had a new, non-flammable gate installed, too:
Smoke from a nearby fire. It's not burning in our direction, but it's a reminder that trees need to be carefully managed in our neighborhood.
It's fun to compare then and now. What have your compared lately?