Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Growing Junk

Many, many moons ago, when I moved to West Bloomfield, I received a 'Welcome Packet'.  In the packet was a list of trees that I was not to plant in my yard.  These particular tree species were considered 'junk' or 'trash' trees. 

While I cannot find the info in all my documents (I likely threw it out years ago), I still remember some of the trees on the list.  Included were Box Elder (no horticultural value), Silver Maple (weak structure, it should not be planted near buildings), Willows (messy), Tree of Heaven (invasive) and Cottonwood.  I am sure there were others. 

I am guessing that many people in my subdivision either never received the packet, or never bothered to read it.  How else to explain a previous neighbor who planted cork-screw willow and cottonwood seedlings in their backyard?  The backyard next to mine.

I have dead willow branches all over my side yard.  I throw them back into the neighbor's yard (I refuse to clean up for someone who does nothing to clean up for himself) and then I hear him chopping them up when he cuts his grass.  That must do wonders for the mower blade. 

I now have cottonwood seeds flying all over the yard.  This morning I had to go out and clean the A/C unit of all the seeds clinging to the sides.  I had guests over for dinner on Memorial Day, but we had to eat inside because the seeds were blowing all over my deck.

To the list of noxious trees, I would also add Honeysuckle vine.  It starts growing and takes over everything.  Spent several summer trying to rip it all out.  Also, Mulberries are extremely messy.  They drop their fruit and then, not only do you have that mess, you have seedlings sprouting all over.  I had to pay someone to remove two from my back yard that shot up from nowhere and no matter how many times I tried to eliminate them, they came back.

But worst of all is the dreaded Buckthorn.  I spent one summer about ten years ago trying to get rid of it in my yard.  I have been pretty successful.  But as I mentioned in a prior blog entry, the neighbor has it growing all over his yard.  Last week I read an online story about the Rouge River cleanup.  They were trying to clear out the Buckthorn.  Not only is it invasive, but it depletes the soil of nutrients for use by other plants.

Somehow, there are people who believe if something is growing it needs to stay there and grow.  I remember a Wetland Board appeal at the Township Board several years ago.  The residents were asking to remove poison ivy from their lakefront neighborhood.  They were told that they could only remove the poison ivy from their lots, but not from the undeveloped lots.  I asked how the ivy would know not to grow into the developed lots.  Duh!  We let them take it all out.

I have battled poison ivy in my yard.  And then battled a severe rash.  The sight of it in my gardens terrifies me and I look like someone from outer space when I dress up to go out there and remove it.

I guess if you want a truly 'natural' garden, then you just let anything grow.  Me, I prefer 'natural' in the sense that everything does not have to be planned out and picture perfect, but I want to control what is growing and where it is growing.  Does that make me a bad person?

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