P80620.JPGHow can a professional ‘gardener’ leave such a stub on the little California black oak in Felton Covered Bridge Park. It is not as if it is high in the canopy of a large tree, and out of reach to an arborist. This one is right at eye level, exactly where someone getting out of a car parked in the adjacent parking space would run into it. The entire tree needs some major corrective pruning, which would include the removal of significant limbs and portions of the canopy, but that is only because of years of neglect, and is another story. Right now, we are focusing on the eye-level stub.

It is not easy to see in these pictures because the lower branches are so congested. The stub extends from the lower left to the upper right in the first picture. It is right in the center of the second picture, protruding upward and to the left of the trunk, and then kinking back to the right. The last picture shows how easy it would be to reach from the ground. This particular tree is located right across from the Memorial Tree. https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/memorial-tree-update-to-the-updated-update-etc-the-sequel-to-all-those-other-sequels/

We are always taught to not leave stubs. They interfere with compartmentalization of the pruning wound, or in this case, grow back into a disfigured wad of useless growth that will just need to be removed later. This poor tree already has plenty structural problems. Even if it were not unhealthy for the tree, it is just plain unsightly. Seriously, this looks ridiculous.

‘Gardeners’ do it all the time, as if they all take the same class on ‘how to leave stubs’. What was the advantage to cutting the limb right there instead of two feet closer to the trunk to eliminate the entire stub?P80620+P80620++

16 thoughts on “Horridculture – Stub

    1. I am not so concerned with the appearance as with the structure. The tree is so disfigured that the necessary pruning would leave unacceptably huge scars! I would prune away the disfigured lower limbs that are too close to the main trunk anyway, and just hope for the best. The other option is to do nothing, and allow the tree to develop structurally deficient branch unions. In the picture, you can see how crowded the lower limbs are on the main trunk. The upper limbs are fine.


    1. The sad part is that they guy who does this is a friend of mine. He has a good County job, but is not at all concerned about his work. He is stoned most of the time. I have pruned these trees before just so that cars can park under them.


  1. That is pretty ridiculous. Anybody with sense would have done a better job. I’ve been MIA, at the beach for a week and now I have a friend from the west coast visiting. My veggies grew while I was away, and so did the weeds, so there’s that to d too. I’ll catch up with myself here in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting observation. My neighbor recently cut the end of a branch of a tree on our property resting on our common stone wall, leaving an ugly stub–I wish he had cut off the entire branch or left the end alone. I’ve asked several arborists if they can remove it and told it’s too difficult to access. Looks terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It actually happens quite often. I totally understand that neighbors can do that sort of thing, but in town, with the strict tree preservation ordinances, such cuts are technically illegal if wider than a certain diameter and detrimental to the health of the tree. Technically, a permit is needed, and will not likely be granted unless the pruning is done properly.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, tree preservation ordinances do not help much. Many clients cut trees down while young, before they get big enough to be protected. Also, average homeowners often get fined for cutting down a tree that they did not know was protected. However, developers who do most of the damage to the urban forest have no problem cutting down trees without permits and just paying the fines because they make so much money from the very redevelopment that necessitated the removal of the protected tree or trees. I would like to believe that people have the right to cut down whatever trees are on the property. The problem with that is that there are too many who would sell all the redwood off of their property if they could, and others who would like to cut down massive old oak trees just because they do not like them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Tony Tomeo and commented:

    The good news is that, after three years since this article posted, this little black oak is developing nicely, and should get pruned to improve structure this winter.


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