This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 6, 2011 10:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was Say it loud, I'm normal and I'm proud. The next post in this blog is eBay goes for some downtown Portland office space. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

One less squish to answer

One of our most widely read blog posts ever is this one, bemoaning the plum tree that graces our neighbors' parking strip. The neighbors don't like it, we don't like it, and it's seen better days. Google send all sorts of readers to that post, looking for "plum tree." It's hard for us to tell whether the searchers want one, are caring for one, or are hoping to get rid of one, but whatever the motivation, in they come by the dozens, especially in the summer.

Anyway, in chatting around the neighborhood, we've been hearing that there's no way the tree police at Portland City Hall will let a property owner cut down a mature street tree like that. But guess again: One day last week, we heard the unmistakable sound of a chain saw out the window of Blog Central. When we looked out, another plum tree a few doors away -- same size and vintage as the one we clean up after all summer long -- was being cut. To our surprise, it was not just being pruned -- the length of time the job was taking soon revealed that it was out-and-out being taken down.

We saw those neighbors (our former partners in the Cat Warning System) a little while later, standing next to the neat stack of wood that the arborist had left behind on their strip. How in the world did they ever get the city to let them take out that tree? It turns out that they had called the city forester for some advice on how to prune the thing. And the person they sent out allowed as how the tree was old, somewhat diseased, and at the end of its life. He gave the green light for them to take it out.

We left the neighbors in their newfound light and air, and it seemed like just hours passed before the wood pile had been whisked away. Then somebody showed up and planted a new tree in the space.

It's a sunset maple. It looks a little shocked to be there, but that's probably just temporary. We hope and trust that it will grow tall and strong.

We had to congratulate the folks down the street for the transition. No more plums to scrape up, no more red juice on their floors, and likely no more damage to their sidewalk. They say they're going to plant a little rose garden under the tree, at least for its younger years. An extra bonus.

As for the plum we originally wrote about, next door to us, it's still there. But it may be time to sell short.

Comments (7)

I'm no fan of purple plums for street trees, but sunset maples, red maples, etc. are some of the most overused and boring street trees in Portland.

Thanks for the comment. Have a nice summer.

Boring is better than squishy! The house I grew up in had Mountain Ash trees in front. My job from age 9 untill I left for College was sweeping up those orange berries off the sidewalks each day.

Bart, did you have no robins (appropriately named turdus americanus? Our mountain ash trees overhang a ditch and serious slope,so there's none of the sidewalk issues (good old SW Portland) - but the birds devour the berries, and I just never see much in the way of left overs.

Bart's original neighborhood robins might have been lawn chemical-ed into oblivion, or had too many loose house cats around.


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