Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Trees Matter

reading again on Ron's the post on trees, the jacaranda poem of Mrs. Armentrout


its a nice poem, yeah the trees make a difference in the creative culture too. I'm not sure how much - I wouldn't say the ideal San Diego person is 'beautiful, but not serious' isn't that more of the ideal L.A. person? Yep. But in L.A. there are palms everywhere. In L.A. then people are more thorny and individualistic..? well hm. Trees make a difference in how people think of their environment.

If you were a tree, what tree would you be?

I don't know, but once in a while I imagine living in a place where there are a lot of trees, and canopy overhead, walking underneath it. In the city where I grew up, one day I came back to see that all the eucalyptus had been cut down. I guess they endanger native animals or something, but they were always used for windbreakers back in the old days, to prevent erosion on large stretches of property before it could be developed. And they were awesome to look at, 50 or so feet tall - lined up together in a row. Much better to look at then some ghastly mini-mall- the Sandwich Hut! (hooray..)

For me, trade is ok, but I never liked property development. Because they cut down whatever trees are there and put in these little halfling birch or something. Which is kind of a nice tree once it grows up, but you need about twenty years to wait for it.

Also in the town where I grew up they used to have walnut orchards. You would dig down just a few inches and find shells everywhere. There are still orange and lemon orchards - in neat rows of course, but you have to drive out into the country. At one time almost all of San Fernando Valley - that was our neighbor valley, was orange orchards, and to get to L.A. you had to take a pass through the mountains because there was no freeway yet. That was before my time.

In the mountains of the north county there are pine, and the pine has its own unique beauty, but you can't grow anything around them because they make the ground too acidic. Ponderosa - that is quite the tree.

In L.A. too, more toward the north side they had avocado orchards, but when the developers came in they didn't always take the tree out, so sometimes in some places in older L.A., Pasadena or whatnot, when you go in the backyard there is a big avocado tree there - and the avocados are entirely good to go. Those trees make a terrific canopy - always 10 degrees cooler underneath, plenty of shade, and the dirt that is produced underneath the leaves that bunch up in piles and have to be raked has a musty odor.

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