Never seen pruned live oaks before!

eahamel(9a)January 29, 2013

I've lived in Live Oak Country all my life, and this is the first time I've ever, ever seen this. I hope these trees will be all right! I'll check them again in a few months to see if they've leafed out.

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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

Let us know, it looks bad from here.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:25PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Ack! Someone call the Humane Society!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:53PM
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esh_ga

What state is this?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:33PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

If he had a license, it would be taken away. But no one who does that has a license.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:13PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

"What state is this?"

State of ruin.

They have ceased to exist.
They hopped the twig.
They are ex oaks.

tj

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:46PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

They're not dead! They're pining!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 11:12PM
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eahamel(9a)

I'm in Houston. I like the comments y'all are making, this is truly a travesty.

An apartment complex near me killed a magnificent old crape myrtle a few years ago by pruning it. It had never been pruned before, and was beautiful, even when not in bloom. Then someone cut it way back, the way they do, and it died. That's what we call Crape Murder.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:22AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

All kinds of bad in the photo. Most people believe they know all there is to know about trees, and don't have a freaking clue. Saw some do this same thing to about a 24" dia beautiful Sugar Maple a few years ago, only they cut every limb over about 6". Of course it died. I'm sure they did it thinking they would make it less likely to fall over. Thing is, that was 4 years ago, and the rotting remains still stand and are far far far more likely to fall, than the healthy Sugar Maple they killed. Saw someone cut every branch off an 80'+ pine (leaving only the trunk), and then obviously couldn't understand why it didn't re-sprout. Stupid stuff like that, and "topping" have been rampant since ice storms in 2000, and 2009.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:41AM
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ghostlyvision

I've never seen live oaks without leaves (except when they were deceased). What a horrible way to treat those trees.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:50AM
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esh_ga

eahamel, maybe you should send that picture to the Houston paper and question the city's knowledge of dealing with their resources.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:25AM
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j0nd03

of the door to door landscape architect who worked on the oaks. He looks a little shady to me...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:27AM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Wow. That looks pretty bad.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:45AM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

Don't know for sure, but they look to be on private property. One would hope there is an ordinance against such treatment but oftentimes there is not, and Billy Ray and his pickup can hack at will.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:40AM
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nandina(8b)

I hope that Rhizo will lend her expertise to this discussion. Hopefully she will send the posted picture to an arborist friend who is a live oak specialist for his imput on the subject. I also reside in live oak country and have never seen one pollarded in this manner. Updates on these trees through the next few growing years would be deeply appreciated. This is how we learn.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:40PM
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eahamel(9a)

WxDano, yes, this is private property, at an apartment complex. The Parks Department does pay attention to the Urban Forest, though, maybe I should send them this pic.

I'll go past the complex again tomorrow, and note the address, so I can keep track of the poor trees. It's on the edge of my neighborhood, and I don't think I've ever been on that street before.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:45PM
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dricha

They will be back. Live oaks can take a lot of abuse. More than most. The wrong person was able to make that decision which is a shame.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:55PM
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alabamatreehugger(8)

I noticed a few live oaks several days ago that were pruned into the shape of cylinders. I didn't even know that was possible.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:02PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

@eahamel, I'm sure the City Forester would appreciate the pic, and maybe a screen shot of Google maps if you can't get out there for an address.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:40PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

http://swamplot.com/mysterious-oak-beheadings-at-the-yale-and-610-burger-king/2012-03-05/

Hmm. Looks even worse at another location in Houston, not far from where I was born and raised.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:38AM
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esh_ga

Oh that is just criminal! Tree lovers in Houston need to publicize these atrocities far and wide. Whoever was hired to do these (wonder if it was the same "arborist"?) needs to be exposed so that no one else hires them!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lou's link

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:55AM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

All it takes is 3-4-5 e-mails from citizens with pictures for action. It shouldn't be hard for the City Forester to act. Even in Texas there is some police power to compel action or to desist. Even two people asking a friend each should be enuf in most places.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:00AM
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j0nd03

Good grief Lou, that is just brutal! They look like uncarved totem poles.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:02AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Often businesses HATE having trees around their businesses. They are of the opinion that is prevents customers from finding them. Have seen many times a new development on in, with lots of landscaping as required local municipality, only to be deliberately neglected in an effort to remove "the problem". Have also seen businesses have trees removed a few years after construction when they believe nobody will notice.

I want to be clear, this is not true of everybody, but I know for a fact this kind of thing is all too common. Sadly, governments etc are reactionary in these circumstance, and the damage is already done effectively permanently.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:41AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

It looks bizzare but I'm going to guess this was the other option. Cutting the trees down completely was probably either too expensive, required a permit, or would cause complaints (no more shade on the building).

The complex doesn't look like it throws a ton of money into landscaping, either tenants were complaining about leaves and acorns or an insurance company insisted the trees were too threatening. Businesses don't spend hundreds on tree trimming like this because they want to do what's best for the trees.

If you want to get worked up about something I would look at the acres of treeless parking lots baking in the sun and the hundreds of miles of treeless road medians and empty lots that do nothing more than require endless lawn mowing.

Those trees were there for a couple decades, provided for countless birds, squirrels and bugs and are still there now.... once they recover. If you want to cause a big stir, change laws, impose fines, that's your call. I think the only thing that will accomplish is less businesses planting trees bigger than a crape myrtle.

Just my opinion :)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:44AM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Another Burger King! The franchise owner must have hired a landscaping company to do that a multiple locations.

Here is a link that might be useful: More trees butchered

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:35AM
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eahamel(9a)

This might be what they're aiming to get eventually. I took this picture in Ajijic, Mexico, near Guadalajara. I thought this ficus trim was hilarious. Since then, I've been seeing TREES like oaks pruned to look like this, here in Houston. Maybe they have to cut all branches off and let new twigs grow and then prune them into a cube or cylinder? I used to have a yardman from Mexico, and I had to stop him when he tried to prune a shrub like that. He didn't understand why I didn't want him to do it that way.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:44AM
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ghostlyvision

Is that a 'box'wood, eahamel? ;)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 1:35PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

private property. One would hope there is an ordinance against such treatment but oftentimes there is not

==>> do you have any understanding of what PRIVATE property is ...

and what in the world should the city be able to do about it.. they are more likely to dig them out.. and replace them with pear trees .. lol ...

crimminey.. i abhor what was done to these trees.. but government is NOT the solution to every stupid act by a third party ...

ken

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 1:52PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

RIP

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:18PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

do you have any understanding of what PRIVATE property is ...i abhor what was done to these trees.. but government is NOT the solution to every stupid act by a third party ...

I have a good legal and practical understanding of private property as it is part of what I do for a living, and why I noticed where the trees were located.

Nevertheless, my understanding of private property has nothing to do with whether this municipality has an ordinance or statute on record that prevents such treatment, or restricts private tree care operations to licensed contractors.

There are good reasons why places choose to regulate some or all aspects of trees and tree care on private property. Folks can complain about it all they want - and do.

I would have e-mailed a pic and a few sentences of disappointment to the City Forester by now regardless.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:11PM
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eahamel(9a)

Those trees used to shade that complex, and I'm sure the tenants appreciated it during the summer. They'll probably have tufts of twigs at the ends of those stumpy branches for a long time now. That will be interesting to see!!

How do I find the City Forester? I know Texas Parks & Wildlife used to have an Urban Forester, I heard him give a talk about the urban forest once, but have no idea how to get in touch with him, there's no link on the TPW website. A search for "urban forester houston" yields a landscaping company.

Way to go, Ken. private means private, even if what they do is butchery. God forbid, they should cut them out and replace them with Bradford pears, though!

I found a city ordinance that regulates the planting of street trees, but I think these are a bit too far back to be street trees. And I learned that the city of Houston requires each new house to have one street tree in the front yard, and it can be a new tree or existing tree. Wow, I had no idea. I have noticed that the landscapers usually stick a small live oak in the yards of new houses, even if the yard is the size of a postage stamp. I can just imagine the damage to foundations and driveways when those trees get large. The tree canopy will be larger than the yards.

Very good, Ghost! Thanks!

This post was edited by eahamel on Thu, Jan 31, 13 at 20:30

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:27PM
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eahamel(9a)

BTW, the tree in this pic is a Ficus benjaminii. They grow there and will get ginormous. If I can find a pic I took of a mature one, I'll post it.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:56PM
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poaky1

The tree would've just needed limbed up in the future, why would they do THAT? I would imagine any future storms will rip off lots of weakly attached sprouts. They should've put them out of their misery instead of leaving poles. The Live oak is so grande and graceful naturally, and then someone does that, makes me sick.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:01PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

How do I find the City Forester?

The very first hit on The Googles for the search 'city of houston office of the city forester' gets you right there.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 12:11AM
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kenptn(z6b TN)

The trees look ugly of course. Here in TN it is not unusual to see large trees treated like this on both private AND public property. After Hurricane Charlie in Florida many live oaks actually looked worse, no green at all and only main scaffold limbs left. Today you have to look close to see the damage.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:01AM
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eahamel(9a)

WxD, thanks! I was just looking for "city forester" and couldn't find it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:28AM
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