Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trees and the people that plant them

I've just had Dan's Tree Service do some work on the Norway Maple (1) in my front yard, and the three in my parent's yard. He does lovely work. My maple was in pretty good shape, just needed a bit of trimming around the electric line at the south edge of my property; along the eastern perimeter of the tree, approaching the house; and opening it up a bit inside, allowing for more sun and wind to reach it.
I spent a long time thinking and measuring before planting this tree. Measuring the distance from house/property lines/ electric lines: looking for the best place not for the sapling I was planting but for the tree it would become. It just now, after 21 years of growing, needed this bit of trim to keep it in check.
My parents trees had not fared so well. Persons hired in the past to 'trim' the trees had butchered them instead. Lopping off limbs at the edge of an imagined circle, leading to sucker growth and even thicker leaf coverage than before. The trees were a mess. Dan came in with his crew and did magic. The dead limbs were removed, crossing branches cut back, the tree opened up. Wonderful. And cheaper then the butchers who had done work before him.
Other trees on my street have not fared so well as mine.
The tree-trimmers for the utility company  have been busy, the last few weeks. And the trees they've worked on look like utter shit. Limbs whacked out from the center of the tree, limbs lopped off at the trees perimeter. Trees that now look like nothing devised by nature. And in most cases, the fault lies with the property owner. They planted trees right on the property line. Under the electric lines [or so that the lines are within the expected growth plan of the tree]. They looked at the 8' sapling and said, yea, that'll do well here. Never bothered to look up, to look around, to actually measure.
Neighbor behind me didn't have the electric company to blame, just his own self and the growth habit of trees. He planted a row of fir trees just on his side of  the shared property line. And planted them too closely. One tree died because it lost the race for water and nutrients. It's neighbors just choked it out.  And the trees are a constant source of friction with the neighbor, who objects to fir needles scratching his vehicles, as the spreading girth of the trees has invaded his drive way. (2)

(1) I know the Norway Maple is considered to be an invasive species. And I really wish I had chosen a native tree. But the Norway Maple was my father's favorite tree, so there was that whole 'trying to measure up to dad's expectations'/ even though because  I'm a daughter and not a son that can never be/ dynamic going on.

(2) He has another problem with neighbors, in that one or two of them living on the other side of him and the bay have complained that his trees block their view of the bay. And insist that he should cut them down because of this. He thinks one of them tried to poison the trees, as he found metal tubes hammered into the trees, with oozing sappy wounds around the tubes.  Frikking tourists think they own the entire world, including all views, and the roads, and the right to cut across private property [not just on foot, but on bicycles and electric carts], because they're on vacation and the world should bend to accommodate them.(2a).
(2a)Yes, you're right, I do have some issues with tourists. Mostly, I think they're spoiled idiots.

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