Wednesday, June 07, 2006


One of the things I liked about the place I live was that there was an enormous tree shading the backyard. It wasn't my tree - it was on the neighbour's property - but it provided a nice piece of greenery as well as the illusion of space and privacy in an otherwise soulless suburban environment. It even had a tui, as well as various other birds, none of which I knew the species of.

Now, its gone. The vandals who live behind me have chopped the whole thing. I've been listening to the chainsaws and woodchipper all afternoon, and all I want to do is cry.

It was their tree, and I can't do anything about it except for mourn. That, and plant a Kauri or Norfolk Pine or something similarly long-lived and enormous as close to the boundary as I can get away with. I won't be around to see it grow to be as large as the old one (either because I will have moved, or I will have died), but the least I can do is try and replace it.


Stop being so bloody PC. It's their property - get over it.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/07/2006 03:43:00 PM

Have a look for "Plant Me Instead" in a PN bookshop. It's a $10 book put out by DoC, WRC and Horizons and talks about what plants one can put in instead of pest plants, and also has good advice about native trees and good places to put them.

It also has great advice for how to permanently rid your garden of some evil pest plants.

Posted by Anita : 6/07/2006 04:53:00 PM

Whatever you decide, don't go for bamboo, even though it'll give you privacy for running around naked in your backyard, but it grows everywhere underground and takes over before you know it.
Amazing to hear your council let your neighbours cut down a big tree! Obviously it wasn't in Auckland (here you poison them surreptitiously so no-one knows it was you that wanted to get rid of them for a new big-arse development)

Posted by Hans Versluys : 6/07/2006 05:31:00 PM

Wattles - they're not native and they don't grow to be enormous, but your neighbour will be cursing you inside 5 years.

The neighbours are just carrying on the long-standing tradition of cutting down everything that looks like it's got wood in the Manawatu (cue porn joke,) but fuck 'em. Some traditions are better off dead.

Posted by Psycho Milt : 6/07/2006 06:50:00 PM

Are you sure you can't do anything about it? Did they have the appropriate approvals?
You could also alert any other neighbours to any other important things you don't want moved without a fight.

Posted by Genius : 6/07/2006 06:58:00 PM

Thank you Mr. Mapp for your forward-thinking, socially aware observation.

It is exactly that kind of crass, ignorant and selfish attitude that leads ultimately to the ruination of forests, deep sea fisheries, unspoilt landscapes and much else besides.

'Ownership' should not include an unquestioned right to destroy, especially not when the thing 'owned' is large, old, living and part of the communal landscape.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/07/2006 07:11:00 PM

Gary, I thought I told you all to stop being so bloody PC. So what's all this about the environment?

Don't you understand that the Soviet Union's environmental failures are irrefutable PROOF that socialism doesn't work and EVIDENCE that only market mechanisms and absolute private property rights can protect the environment?

Posted by Anonymous : 6/07/2006 09:37:00 PM

Anon: Of course it's their tree, and I've said as much - but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it (go and look up "positive externality" sometime), or that I can't be upset about it. Property ownership may give you rights, but it doesn't entitle you to demand that everyone else refrain from judging you on how you exercise them, or refrain from thinking that you are a soulless vandal.

As for solutions, I'm most interested in replacing the tree with something that will eventually be just as large. The idea that this might annoy people, or somehow create a "problem" for future generations of an obnoxiously large tree, is simply an added bonus.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/08/2006 10:36:00 PM