The landscape maintenance industry attracts apathetic idiots. There is no nice way of saying it. Those who have flunked out of everything else and simply do not care can push a mower. I can not imagine how infuriating this must be for gardeners who take their work seriously. It must be more difficult for them to observe than it is for me.

More to the point, the jacaranda tree in the median pictured above fell down and stayed that way long enough for the canopy to try to grow into a normal tree. It likely got run over by a car. No one bothered to try to stand it up and stake it, or more simply remove it, and maybe replace it. It just stayed there, for YEARS. So-called maintenance ‘gardeners’ just mow around it, and weed whack the grass that they can not mow below the horizontal trunk. Arborists might eventually groom the canopy. Apparently, they all find this to be acceptable horticultural procedure.

The Brazilian pepper tree pictured below is almost as weird. It is slightly more tolerable only because it has not been in this position as long. Perhaps SOMEONE or ANYONE will realize how inappropriate its horizontal orientation is for the parking lot that it inhabits, and remove it. It had been falling over slowly, which is why the exposed roots are already weathered. No one bothered to prune it for weight reduction or to improve the clearance on the side that it was falling toward. Otherwise, it might have been able to support itself, even with a bit an irregular but tolerable lean. Now that it is on the ground, some so-called ‘gardener’ pruned it around the parking spaces that it fell between. Seriously! The bumper of the pickup is against a now hedged portion of the canopy of the fallen tree. The branches to the left in the picture were pruned between adjacent parking spaces so that they can actually accommodate parked cars as they were intended to. Seriously, rather than simply cut the tree ‘down’ and remove it, someone devoted that much effort into something as crazily dysfunctional as this. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH EASIER TO DO THIS PROPERLY!


6 thoughts on “Horridculture – “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

  1. The second one is unbelievably weird and the top one does look wrong against the lawn. We have a rowan tree in our neighbourhood that has fallen over but it is on a wild corner with species roses and tall wildflowers so it still looks fine to my eyes at least. I have been pleased that no-one has removed it so far. My pet hate is that the local contractors this year weed-killed a foot or so around the bases of trees in council-maintained green strips. Why would they do that, do you think? Does it really not harm the tree?

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    1. It is harmless, and could be safer than the alternative. If they cut the vegetation down with weed whackers, they may strip bark off of young tree trunks. Some of the trees that Brent and I planted in the medians of San Vicente Boulevard in Los Angeles got mown over by so-called ‘gardeners’ who consider them to be more obstacles to their mowing.

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      1. I will feel a little better next time I see it then. I would be happier with a little weed clump left around the base but I suppose it would seed the rest of the area and look bad to many people.

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      2. For some species, is better to remove the vegetation away from the base of the trunk. For species that are susceptible to rot, as some of our native species are, crowded vegetation promotes rot. Also, pathogens of some species overwinter within the crowded vegetation.


    1. Many so-called ‘gardeners’ are idiots. The industry attracts those who do not care about their work. This particular landscape happens to feature several examples of major idiocy. In fact, there is NOTHING correct about it. Several exemplary queen palms were planted under expansive eaves, with no escape. (It is one of those old classic Denny’s restaurants.) The few queen palms that were not planted under eaves were planted under utility cables. As the weirdly problematic vegetation gets removed, only bark chips replace it.

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