What are they trying to accomplish in their yard?

People about 1/2 a mile down the road from where I work have done something in their front yard that has left me baffled. Can anyone speculate what they’re trying to do?

They’ve acquired four partial trees, cut down to about 8’ with… what’s the bottom part called that spreads out from the trunk into the ground with the roots? whatever that part is called, intact (can’t say if there are roots attached, though). They’ve been placed in a straight line, a few feet apart. And these trunks have no branches and they’ve been stripped of all their bark. But they’ve also mulched them.

The mulch makes me think they are under the impression that these things are going to grow, which is the most confusing part to me. If not for the mulch, I’d think it was step one of building something ugly and artistic.


I’ll be keeping an eye out, to see if they add anything.


Living fence? Bean poles?

That sounds absolutely bizarre. How thick are the trunks (roughly)? Are they pretty skinny or stout?

The bottom with the roots is called the root ball, by the way. I think it’s absurd to the point of HILARITY that they killed these trees by removing the goddamned bark but made sure to keep the root ball intact!Removing even just a narrow band of bark will kill the tree if it’s completely around the trunk (girdling, or ring barking). From the link:

Carve them into totem poles?

The root ball will die and rot away, and then stump will be unstable. You wouldn’t do this to make 8’ tall poles… you’d just get 12’ tall treated uprights and plant 4’ in the ground.

The only reason to do this thing with the roots and all, would be if you really wanted the root balls. Eg to make homes for animals in the root ball ? But then… you’d ideally want healthy trees, or else it would be rather temporary.

maybe they got totem trees.

Maybe stop by and say hello?

Stout. Probably a couple of feet in circumference.

Little_Pig, they’re not home when I drive by.

We’ll, I guess your gonna just have to wait and see. May be interesting.

Still…a call to Homeland Security wouldn’t go amiss.

Are they definitely trees? Could they be large grape vines, because that would make sense.

Are they Crape Myrtles, perhaps?

Is their last name Addams?

That was my guess. The have very thin bark, and are often pruned back to nothing. They recover quickly.

8’ tall, a couple feet around, standing in a row… I’d guess they’re about to take up chainsaw stump-carving. Or they’re about to film an epic coming-of-age martial arts training sequence, where somebody has to build himself up to the point that he can pound these things to toothpicks with his bare hands.

Crape Myrtles should NOT be pruned back to nothing, though. People do it to increase flowering, but the flowers don’t last as long and you cause a lot of damage to the tree (horticulturists have termed it “Crape Murder”, Heh). “Topping” the tree like this damages the structural integrity of the tree and its health, as well as making it more vulnerable to fungus and rot. Basically, the trees survive most instances of topping, but they don’t thrive. They would be better off, health and appearance wise, by avoiding this practice and only lightly and judiciously pruning like you do other trees.

No, definitely not. Whatever trees they used to be were big with nice straight trunks. Oak, maple, a type of pine, something like that.

When I was growing up, people used to paint trees white halfway up the trunk. I have no idea why they did this.

And since this is sort of a gardening thread I’m going to move it to Café Society.