Arboretum or city: that is the question

A local, well-known landscape architect has recently started a dialogue about plant life in our town. Sounds like this person was mostly about getting our City to look more like an arboretum and Roger’s Garden. I, too, am about the beauty and all that Nature has to provide that keeps us in awe. I am a gardener at heart and have had to learn that planning and planting must work hand in hand. 

However, when does the planting exceed the glory of plant life? Take trees for example, we are impressed by their beauty and often times [they offer] protection from many heated days from the sun on our homes. All of this is fine until tree roots invade another person’s property and raises their concrete driveway or even invades footings and foundations. Sidewalks, too, often times are raised and cause risks to those walking daily on our walkways.

Living in such close proximity to neighbors, trees and their roots systems can be a dangerous risk. Tree roots often are the major source of blocked sewer lines. Also, when trees are not planted with knowledge of their maximum height, views from other properties can be obstructed and Pandora’s Box is again wide open to create unrest among neighbors leading to confrontations and even lawsuits. 

Yes, I agree with this landscape architect but then again when planting trees the end result must be a major consideration for all concerned. Plant life, like all of Nature, is intended to expand as it grows. Oftentimes folks want an instant and mature looking garden by over planting and not allowing enough space in between plants to expand and develop into a well planned and beautiful garden. Plants need both food and water. They must be cared for like any living organism. Planting and caring can take on more responsibilities. So please plant wisely and keep the peace and the safety wherever and whenever we can. 

Jim Gothard

Laguna Beach

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