Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tree Mutilation Time Again

I get it about the electrical lines.  I do.  It wasn't all that long ago that Hurricane Ike struck the Gulf Coast, leaving more than 2 million homes, apartments or businesses without electricity.  It took three weeks and more than half a billion dollars to restore power here.  Some of the trouble was caused by trees falling on or into power lines.  So I get it. But oh, my God!

Live Oak.
These trees have had their very hearts cut out.  I can't imagine how this is better than simply cutting them down in the first place.  The transmission line people say that their own foresters will determine whether it's better to trim a tree or cut it down.  I don't know what their criteria are, but I would bet that it has something to do with how much it costs to dispose of the tree and/or how much the tree owners complain.

An entire row of trees, all but destroyed.
And about those tree owners!  Sometimes the power lines are installed after the trees are already planted.  Sometimes trees grow up naturally under power lines and aren't cut down as seedlings by the mowers because they're sheltered by a fence line.  But sometimes, very large trees are planted directly underneath the power lines.  And some day, maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, their hearts will be cut out or their heads will be cut off.

What's left?

The sight of these mutilated trees is enough to give you nightmares. 

At least they hire certified foresters!


  1. That's too bad they have to do that! They don't look very good at all.

  2. I came over to see your Bloom Day post--lovely blooms, by the way--but couldn't resist looking at these photos of poor trees. We have several gorgeous maples in our town that also have had the heart cut out of them. They really were noticeable this fall when the leaves turned, but I never managed to get a photo, unfortunately. I'm sure in all those cases the trees were planted after the power lines were put in--what a shame people didn't plan ahead.

  3. I also wonder why they don't cut more trees down. Even the cost of removal has got to be better than going back and pruning so often.

  4. Certified? Insane? Our trees look like that because municipal workers without forestry training are told to cut the trees back.