and don't feel all that bad about it.
That electric red spray-painted "No" practically radiates rejection. Nada. Nyet. Nein. Fuggetaboutit. Or as the French would say, "Pardonnez-moi monsieur, mais non."
I'm pretty sure this means the utility company (Pacific Gas and Electric) has rejected our application for a street tree planting. (The application actually goes to Friends of the Urban Forest, but PG&E has approval powers.)
The only square I have available in the sidewalk in front of my house is too close to the gas line and the electrical utility pole for a tree. I thought that might be the case, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway. Perhaps you can see for yourself why this was never going to work.
Why am I not sad? I was starting to have second thoughts about the whole thing.
First of all, I wasn't thrilled with the tree choices. I had six evergreens and three (or four) deciduous trees to chose from. (Why isn't there a noun for deciduous?)
Evergreens: Arbutus 'Marina', Tristania laurina, Eriobotrya deflexa, Callistemon viminalis, Melaleuca linariifolia, Magnolia grandiflora.
Deciduous trees: Crataegus phaenopyrum, Pyrus calleryana 'Aristocrat' or 'Chanticleer', Liquidambar straciflua.
Tristania laurina is nice, but rather dull.
Eriobotryae grow everywhere in this neighborhood. I'm tired of them, and I think it's too windy in front of our house for this tree.
I don't like Callistemon or Melaleuca that much. At least the Callistemon would stay small, but every successful Melaleuca around here is too successful. They all look like they're about to burst out of the sidewalk. And the crowns are really heavy. Once that tree got going, I'd have to pay for an arborist once a year.
I love Southern Magnolia but, again, I'm not sure about the wind. There aren't enough Magnolias in my neighborhood on which I can base a sound decision. In fact, I can't think of a single one.
Arbutus 'Marina' is a fine tree, but ultimately I wanted something deciduous that wouldn't shade the front of my house in wintertime. But if I was going with an evergreen, that would be my pick.
The Crataegus intrigues me. I like those small red flowers. But the one around the corner gets sooty mold (or something that looks like sooty mold) during part of the year, and I don't think I want that in front of my house.
I've never heard anyone say anything nice about pear trees. And the calleryana is the Bartlett pear, right? Is there a more widely despised tree?
Liquidambar stryaciflua is okay, but it gets too big. They say 30-45' on the mailer, but I think 60' is more like it.
What was I hoping to get? Aesculus x carnea. 30' tall, nice red flowers in earliest spring, deciduous. What could be better than that?
I was also having second thoughts about the commitment. You really commit to your tree once it goes in. If it doesn't work out for some reason, you're on the hook to make it work out. I'm a little reluctant to invite the City of San Francisco into my life even more than it already is.
But it would have been a good deal if everything had worked out. We'd have gotten the permit, the tree, and the sidewalk cement lifted and removed all for $100. Plus, trees raise property values.
What do you think this means?