Thursday, November 8, 2012

Trees, please

Dear League City Arborist,

We notice that the City has finally begun trimming the oaks near the municipal complex, specifically, those closest to the public library:
Wow!!  For the first time in forever, we can now see that there are buildings behind these trees! 
Walker Street at State Highway 3, looking southwest. 
We commend this effort and have the following associated request:

Please expand this basic maintenance effort to include all of the trees on City land surrounding the muni complex.  Those majestic oaks on the south side of West Walker Street appear to be in particularly bad shape right now:
These, please. 
Looking southwest along West Walker Street, on October 31, 2012. 
These are some of the most remarkable old oaks in the city, but they are currently loaded down with deadwood and what some folks refer to as "trunk suckers".  It is difficult to discern when these beauties might have been last given some proper maintenance. 
The decisions regarding the oaks near the library appear to be well-made, with an esthetically-appropriate degree of trimming having been done.  Sometimes property owners become over-zealous with this kind of maintenance to the point where the results are visually harsh:
The HEB Clear Lake Market in north Clear Lake.  Someone probably told the landscaping contractor to "raise the skirts" of these trees, but they likely didn't mean raise 'em up to their danged ears!

So we certainly are not advocating for ours to look like these ones in the photo immediately above, but please continue with a consistent effort a la the library.

Thanks for your continuing efforts in this regard!


The Taxpayers.

I mentioned previously that I lived in Austin for three years.  Immediately after I moved into a 1-acre property in the beautiful hilly terrain that characterizes west Austin, several neighbors peppered me with questions regarding my tree intentions. 

"We know that you are from Houston, and Houston people generally do not trim their trees," they explained.  "We don't understand why this is the case.  Trees are no different from lawns and shrubbery.  They need proper maintenance.  Thinning them out helps prevent storms from knocking them over and it also discourages oak wilt.  It also allows sunlight to get to the ground, and it looks much prettier.  And yet despite all this, Houston people almost never trim their trees."

Needless to say, I hired a crew to trim eleven oak trees on my new property.  And I was very glad I did so - it did not cost much, and it was a great investment for both their health and for the beauty of my neighborhood.

I don't know why people from Houston are often so reluctant to make this kind of investment.  Perhaps for the same reason that they put up with the world's ugliest fences when just a few bucks for pressure-washing and staining can completely transform the look of a property. 

Anyway, that segment of West Walker will come under increasing public scrutiny now that construction of the new Public Safety Building is under way.  I hope that remarkable row of oak trees adjacent to it can get some well-deserved maintenance.

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