Monday, April 23, 2012

Palm me off

One of the things that sold us on this house where the two very large palms in the front yard. I have a love affair with tropical colonial style gardens, and had spent years lusting after mature palm trees in Sydney. Then we moved to Brisbane, and they where everywhere! It was heaven.

About 2 months after we moved in, a council worker dropped an official little note in the letterbox, explaining how the palms where going to be cut down as they where a danger to the electrical lines. Storm season was coming, and they would cause a large blackout if they came down in a high wind...the note also mentioned that nothing would be done without our approval, as the council needed our permission to enter our property. So I said no thanks, and when they knocked on the door just before storm season every year, I hid behind the sofa and pretended I wasn't home. This has worked for the last five years. Luckily, the palms have not come down in a storm and caused a blackout.

This year, Mr BC finally convinced me that the palms where not doing us any favours and we should get the council to cut them down for free, next time they offered. The palms where so large, their two trunks didn't offer any privacy. They didn't provide much shade. They where a magnet to fruit bats who shat all over the cars, our house and the yard. And Mr BC was sick of dealing with dead palm fronds. So, reluctantly I agreed, with the proviso that Mr BC deal with the whole thing, because I was already heart broken enough without having to liaise with the execution team.

Of course Mr BC was busy with work on the day.

These poor majestic palms had no idea of the evil fate lurking below.
Couldn't the council just put in underground conduits?
Why do we need overhead power lines anyway?

The workman cheerfully took them down one frond at a time. Bastard!

You can sense their horror. Well, I can.

Gleefully wielding his weapon of destruction. While he whistled..

Poor traumatised bald palm.

Nut sacks intact, for now..

First one crown, then the other, comes crashing to the ground before they get to work on the trunks. By this stage Mr BC came out to see what the fuss was about, and was a bit freaked out to see two workmen in the cherry picker, which had manoeuvred in between the power lines. I reassured him that they where obviously trained professionals, with all of the safety equipment and knowledge they needed. Why did they just ask to borrow my garden gloves, then? he replied...

Pretty soon the front garden looked like this. A sea of carnage.

Which was promptly and cheerfully cleaned away by these murderers.

We've filled the empty spaces with a water bowl and a frangipani, but their ghosts linger.

I know it.

Do you mourn plants? Or is it just me?



  1. i don't mourn palm trees, I would have removed them te first time council came knocking! but I do remember my best friend from primary school getting hysterical when a tree in her front yard was cut down.

  2. Nut sack still intact - That nearly made me spit coffee. Poor palms. I mourned for my bamboo when I had it chopped down. I totally get it. Rachel x

  3. I have particular concern for a special tree in our garden, it's a memorial tree for our girls. So yes I could only imagine the grief if something happen to it. Whenever it is we move from here, we will be seeking professional advice about it coming with us.

  4. I giggled over the "nut sacks" too! I have to admit that I don't like palm trees, sorry! We removed 10 when we brought our house & replaced them with shrubs & I too have recntly put in some Frangipani trees. I do mourn having to cut down trees with beautiful flowers & I get really upset when Mr P cuts the lemon tree right back.

  5. Wow, that is a big job!

    We used to have a palm tree and the leaves that fell off were just ridiculously big and bulky.

    I wouldn't want fruit bats shitting on my cars either!

  6. I don't tend to have such affinities with plants as despite my best efforts I seem destined to remain a brown thumb so I figure it best not to form emotional attachments. The picture of the traumatised bald palm trees however was quite a sad sight I must say.

  7. Absolutely. My friend has a palm about the same size in his garden (they rarely grow that large in the UK) and I love the sound it makes in the wind.

    I was completely traunatised when we had to cut down a beautiful weeping willow but they are incredibly distructive with their root systems.

    I would have put it off as long as possible too.

  8. My job as a young teen was to gather palm fronds from our extensive yard filled with palms. Palms around the pool. Palms around the house, front and back. Palms around the shed. Palms around the fence line.


    It was lots, ok. Die palms, die.


Thanks for your comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...