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Friday, September 04, 2009

I Finally Reported the World's Ugliest Tree

Today I finally made the call I've been intending to make for a couple years. I called the City of Alameda to ask them to evaluate the world's ugliest tree, which just happens to be in front of my house.

I really began to pay attention to this tree a couple years ago when I was taking an arboriculture class and had to do a tree report. For convenience sake, I did the report on this tree and believe me, there was plenty to report on. Poor branch structure, included bark, some old damage to the trunk (probably from a car clipping it), and to be brutally frank, just a general state of ugliness. The pictures here are from that report I did in late 2006. Time has not improved the situation. If anything, it's worse because there are now a couple obviously dead branches.

It'll be interesting to see how the city decides to handle this problem. I realize budgets are beyond tight and removing the tree and replacing it may not be affordable. But I would so love to see this thing gone and some tree with real potential put in its place. The city has recently updated its master tree plan and when I checked it, I found the report made the following recommendations for new/replacement tree plantings on my street:
  • Silver linden
  • Various American and hybrid elms
  • New Zealand Christmas tree
  • Chinese pistache 'Keith Davey'
  • Scarlet oak
Any of those would be a vast improvement over the current tree, but the last three options on the list would really give some great fall color.

But I shouldn't get my hopes up. If the city decides that removal isn't a priority or in the budget, then the world's ugliest tree and I may still have a long future together.

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4 comments:

Debra said...

I love the one Chinese pistach in my yard, and have almost convinced the spouse to plant another where we had to remove a sycamore tree that died.

THAT would be my first hope for you. But with current economics, it's pretty likely that you will be looking ugly tree for a while more.

netterjb said...

The silver linden would look nice in front of your house. Any preference from you? Now you should have a contest to see if anyone can accurately guess how long it will take for the city to make a decision and remove the tree!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

Hopefully, if they do replace the tree they don't hire lousy tree-trimmers that butcher it and make it as bad as your current tree. It always saddens me when a perfectly good tree is trained to go ugly.

john said...

I'd avoid the NZ Christmas tree. We have two overgrown trees of this variety on the street in front of our house. They are a complete nuisance and not that attractive in my opinion. I may get the exact part of the tree incorrect, but here goes. They drop red sticky petals/sap for a few months in the late Spring Summer. During this time unless you don't mind paint damage and difficult sap removal from your roof and hood you are wise to park your car somewhere else. In the winter months these trees drop copious amounts of little clusters of either hard dried flowers or pods that fill city drains and again find their way into every nook and cranny of a vehicle underneath. Root systems cause significant damage to sidewalks and curbs, which at the rate Alameda can replace is 06' requests in '11. An entertaining story about this wonderful tree in neighbording SF: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/us/27bcjames.html?_r=1&ref=sanfranciscobayarea . I have watched replacement trees spring up rather quickly, so a 3 year wait for a decent sized tree with a more manageable leaf dropping and root system is what I'd recommend.

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