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September 2019



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brutti_ma_buoni in photo_scavenger


I love trees, and pictures of greenery (see icon!), so this has been a lovely theme. But this time of year, living in London and commuting in the dark, green seems very far away. I live in a 'leafy' suburb, meaning a fair number of parks and a lot of street trees. I love my city, but I do not love what it does to its street trees.

This is a London plane tree, a species which adapted to the fogs of the 19th-20th centuries to shed its bark (and with it a lot of the pollution). So it's a native, doing just what the city needs. But to keep the trees tame and contained, brutal cutbacks are routine. This is what our trees look like right now, against a grim winter sky. Sniff.


This poor tree barely looks like a tree! It probably will leaf, but it's not going to be all that luxuriant next year. Definitely not an Ent...


These smaller trees escaped the chop, and are better, much more cheering. I love the feathering of branches and leftover seed heads against the sky in the second shot:

Photobucket Photobucket


It may look grim to you, but I love that shot, because the "innards" of the tree are fascinating looking. So different from anything else I've ever seen. Also, I never knew that about the bark-shedding and pollution. Nature is so freaking amazing!
I love bare trees against sky, have to admit. In a street scene, I don't think they're as pretty!


I suppose it's the drastic pollarding and the resulting nubbliness you get instead of free-flowing branches that I dislike. I always hate it just after the council tree service has been by to hack everything off: if you can imagine this photo without any of the small branches. It's like having a road full of trolls...

Still, glad you liked the shot!
I see what you mean about the street scene vs. the sky. Still...

<< It's like having a road full of trolls... >>

That's kind of cool, too. *g*
Do you have an example of that species without the brutal trimming?

I've seen fruit trees cut back like that - painful to look at.

P.S. - meant to say it is still a cool picture

Edited at 2011-01-28 02:16 pm (UTC)
There aren't that many good ones I can find - this is a London view which isn't bad. I guess because they are so commonly street trees they do tend to get pollarded like this.

The last thumbnail is a plane tree, though it has been pollarded some time ago. You can still get a better idea of how graceful they can be if not hacked about.
Similar things happen to trees here. They are butchered to prevent them from hanging over power lines - so you end up with trees that are flat across the top, or have a giant gap in the middle of the canopy so the wires can go through without having any limbs near enough to break and cause a problem. Of course, right now, while thousands of people here are still without power after a storm on Wednesday, I'm sure they're wishing the trees weren't in their neighborhoods. :)
That's the trouble of course - our trees get in the phone lines all the time, even with pollarding. I still wouldn't be without them, even if stunted!
Very stark, I agree. But lovely, nonetheless. Maybe in the springtime we'll get a good prompt and you can photo it in full bloom. ^_^
I might take a picture of one of its leaves - they came down in October but still haven't rotted away. Tough guys, these trees!
The heavy pollarding does make for a fascinating picture - but it's really not a very natural look...
The opposite of natural - I do hate the raw look when it's just been done. This is better than it was then, of course, and quite striking. But still, poor trees!
I dislike it when trees have to be so severely trimmed. After our big ice storm in 2007, the power companies were frantic to cut back any tree near power lines. I understand the need, and I'm the first to grumble when the electricity goes out, but it's such a shame to do to such magnificent trees. The London plane is such a large, beautiful tree. It's a good reminder to plant only ornamentals and other small trees around power lines. Unfortunately, we have two large cottonwoods and one enormous sycamore growing up in the power lines. We try to keep the branches trimmed away from the lines in hopes that our trees won't be butchered by the power company.
Yeah, I love to have 'real' trees, not ornamentals, but there are so many others that would be better suited to the role.
It is tragic to do that to a tree, I think. So sad. However, it does make for a really striking photo!
Thanks! It felt right for the time of year, though it's not exactly a happy sight.
that's a very striking photo skylined like that! I've fruit trees pruned that way to keep the branches strong enough for the crops (at least that's my assumption) but they do look odd at first.