Friday, October 14, 2011

DEATH OF A TREE and the planned urban degeneration of quality of life

The above tree is/was an Alleppo pine, 80 feet tall, and a fully drought-tolerant species appropriate to the area. Despite its 300 year lifespan, it is in the process of being cut down. In what seems a juggernaut of conspiracies to erode all possible quality of life issues in urban locales, the new owners of the property were ordered to cut down the tree or else their new purchase would never be insurable. After searching for any possible alternative they had no choice but to acquiesce in a city known for instant litigation if so much as a twig falls on a passerby, otherwise living in their own home purchase would be deemed unlawful by its noncompliance with insurance.

So much for expansive shade, verdant beauty and combating smog with Amazon rain forest-like oxygenation. The new homeowners at least posted the reason for this travesty, and also allowed a holistic consultant neighbor to organize a "celebration of its life prayer ceremony" mid-death of the tree attended by many. The top photo features a daylight full moon (between the telephone pole and the palms left of center) which is not supposed to exist any more than 80 foot trees in cities.

The above photo represents a bit of the immediate area circa 1912. This now enormous basin of suburbs was once described as a perfect savannah a la the Serengeti, meaning enough water to support seasonal grasses and shrubs, (hence the initial dry-farming/limited livestock practices were ecologically sound) but rather few trees for a locale teeming with human and animal life (the vestigial latter I still encounter constantly when trail-riding the area's perimeter: bobcats, coyotes, deer etc.) Therefore each large tree evolved into map markers of sorts. The destroyed Alleppo pine tree was how one identified this locale from the top of the nearby mountain range that separated this valley from the rest of the burgeoning city until more familiar building landmarks were built. And soon its death will be complete.

In my informal survey of mature trees in the immediate locale above, note the mini-grove of California Redwoods adorning the (rare for this city) 1912 domicile of Fastfilm and Mr. Twister, no doubt planted as a grove to reinforce each tree plus positioned to shade the upstairs bedroom from the sunrise; also the gallery of palm trees lining the street that once led to the estate of the area's developer a century ago, traversed by an early morning bicyclist exercising his fortunately unseen purebred German Shepard Dog.

Why "fortunately?" Because this city outlawed purebred dog breeds four years ago with a sterilization of all dogs of 16 weeks of age mandate, with no exemptions (its so-called ones required documents that don't exist in real life plus $500 per dog per year multiple licensing plus business licenses for the requisite kennel license. Kennel licenses are always denied in this locale due to setback zoning laws. So--- utterly deliberate sabotage.)

Its unintended consequence, foreseen by the true animal lovers that fought same, became a metropolis wherein the only dogs that are available are the ones at the pounds bred by gang members and similar: pitbull and pit-crosses make up roughly 75% of its pound populations, with the remaining percentile chihuahuas, chihuahua-crosses and a few true strays.

The faces below represent what is now considered illegal and undesirable for this metropolis which demands that they should have been sterilized at 16 weeks, an interruption in the growth hormones essential for lifelong bone health in large dog breeds. The law now guarantees that the probability their deaths from osteosarcoma be raised to 40%. In simple math, the law requires your large dog breed, such as the ones below, die at age six instead of at least over ten years old.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so sad to lose a venerable tree. and this is going on while a new neighbor of mine with apparently infinitely deep pockets has been planting a new urban forest with ridiculously mature trees to replace those he removed.
thanks, Heather.

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