Large Tree Supported by Palm Trunk

Photo by Anne Hars. Click to bigify.

This is the stuff of arborist’s nightmares. I’ve been walking by this house for years and never noticed that it has a large tree entirely supported by the base of an 80 foot palm tree. Thankfully Los Angeles’ distinctive palms (Washingtonia robusta) can, obviously, hold a lot of weight.

Thanks to HaFoSaFo blogger Anne Hars for the photo. Extra points for finding Anne’s husband Bill, their Chihuahuas and the house one of our neighbors decided to paint the colors of my alma mater, UCLA. 

Tree Care Disasters

Photo from Weeding Wild Suburbia

A fierce windstorm on the night of November 20 of last year left in its wake the evidence of years of negligent tree care in Southern California. A good arborist and crew cost money, and too many homeowners, landlords and municipalities go the cheap route and hire the first idiot with a chainsaw they can find.

A local blog I just discovered Weeding Wild Suburbia, has a nice summary of things you can do to prevent trees from falling down in the next storm. See her posts, Cleaning Up After the Storm, Tree Care Part 2, and Selecting and Planting Trees for Long Term Success.

One things I noticed after the storm were huge trees with shallow root systems that topled over. It’s the result of combining trees and lawns–keeping the lawn green with frequent light waterings results in trees with shallow root systems. Yet another reason, if there weren’t enough already, to ditch the lawn in a dry climate!

Extra bragging rights if you can name the problem in the picture above.

Thanks to Ari Kletzky for the link.

How to Keep that Christmas Tree Fresh

Photo from WSU

Washington State horticulture professor Linda Chalker-Scott, has a podcast “Last minute advice about Christmas trees and other fun stuff” that details more than you’ll ever want to know about how to keep a Christmas tree fresh in the house. And, yes, it’s been studied. Apparently WSU has a Christmas Tree expert: Dr. Gary Chastagner, seen above counting dry needles.