I just got back from a January trip to the great state of Utah. Like anytown USA east of about Keno, Oregon, the street trees are a dismal sight indeed! You see, east of the Cascade range is a relatively treeless land/moonscape. If you discount the beautiful Ponderosa pine and junipers, you will be forever burdened with the Cottonwood/Poplar/Locust plantings that adorn most homestead plots. Not a bad thing except: they are almost always butchered by some ill-informed but well-meaning guy/gal with a chainsaw.
Topped trees abound for literally HUNDREDS of miles. Next town, same thing, hacked trees. Shoot over to Wyoming, same. Down to Nevada, ditto. Up to Idaho, yep, slam-jobs on every tree in the neighborhood!
I had to make a run to Park City for some great Chinese food and a view that wasn’t mostly composed of the sickening sight of bastardized street trees. I almost couldn’t wait to return to our beloved valley and its wonderful treescape!
Man, we got it good I thought, as I was wolfing down my General Tso’s chicken dinner. I was in the company of my good buddy and great arborist Jake Schneider of the famous Pacific Tree Care (Calistoga, CA) fame on this trip so I had a shoulder to cry on the whole time. We would be driving along and if he spotted the disaster before I did, I would hear “HOLY S@#t! Check that one out!” It was the dead of winter so the silhouette really exposed the ugliness of poor tree work, from miles away.
We had a few nervous but good laughs during our travels. It was funny, but not funny in a ha-ha kind of way, but funny in a strange way.
Is it the latitude? Something in the water? The lack of foresight? The cheap chainsaw fuel? What is it about the attitude people have towards their beloved and rare shade that they don’t like?
If I lived in a desert, I wouldn’t let a saw anywhere near my tree, unless I was the one running it. Even then…
Well, it is great to be home, and amongst people that cherish trees,
THANK YOU! The trees thank you as well. Seeing what good arboriculture can do for a town is priceless.
My advice? Go west young man, and stay there! Just kidding (almost)…
As always, plant high and often, and give your tree a hug for me…