P91102KHorticulture is not all about growing things. If everyone was out planting trees, the World would eventually be overwhelmed with forest. It is sometimes necessary to cut trees down. There are several at work that we have been wanting to cut down for quite a while. Some are structurally deficient enough to eventually become hazardous, which is unacceptable in public spaces.

Even here among some of the oldest trees in the World, nothing last forever. Coast live oak, like that in the picture above, has potential to survive for centuries, but eventually succumbs to decay and disease. If fact, this particular specimen is doing it right now. If not cut down soon, it will eventually fall onto an adjacent building and a parking lot below. Its days are numbered.

Literally, it will be cut down on Monday morning, along with a few other coast live oaks and bay laurels in the neighborhood. The orange ‘X’ on the trunk is so faded from the delay of getting this done, that is it barely discernible. (Actually, the can of spray paint was empty.) The trunk and even the main limbs are so rotten that there will not be much firewood left to cut and split.

Cutting this tree down may seem to be unnatural, but so was pruning it for decades so that it would not fall down. It is impossible to say what situation this tree would be in now without past or present intervention. I am more concerned with how it and other trees interact with their surroundings, and the safety of everyone involved. We can not always let nature do as it pleases.

Forest fires are very natural components to our local ecosystems, but because so many of us live here, significant effort and resources are expended on containment!

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4 thoughts on “X Marks The Spot

  1. At first, I thought this might be a post about the utility company trimming trees. The big maple in my front yard now has a sporty orange dot. The utility company has a contract with a tree trimmer who trims limbs away from the power lines. Although they do a great job at it, they have no talent. 🙂 It gives horidiculture new meaning. I should post photos of their great job. I am not complaining because it would be bad if limbs fall on power lines, especially if ice-covered in the winter. Some people have planted trees right under the power lines then complain that their trees have been trimmed by the company. GEEZ!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I get that often. I remind clients that the priority of those pruning for clearance is ‘clearance’. They can not take the time to do it properly. I also recommend that, if necessary, they should hire an arborist to finish the job properly afterward. Unfortunately, even if done properly, trees will grow back into the utility cables. We have other trees marked for removal from utility easements too. I am not too alarmed. All of those tagged are already mutilated, and really should be removed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We have new neighbors to the east of our house and they told us they are cutting down 2 enormous Siberian Elms. Arborists had inspected them and said they were unsound. At about 90 years old, which is longer than their natural life expectancy in this area (though they live much longer in their native range).

    Liked by 1 person

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