What defines you?



Plant a Tree, Be a Hero

Over in the Arden/Arcade side of town local folks have been promoting a tree planting program for quite some time. Adopted from the popular program in the oh so popular Arden Park, the Arden/Arcade extension has gone door to door with flyers asking for volunteers to help. This might sound all well and good, but much like a “boo gram” there is a little something else at play. This time, something a bit offensive.

For example, on their website their tag line reads (with photos of streets with and without trees, sure hope you don’t live on of those “belows”:

“Trees Define A Neighborhood. What street would you like to live on?

Another example (#2 on What You Can Do To Help):

ENCOURAGE YOUR NEIGHBORS TO PLANT- If you want to be a hero on your block, give away free trees


A hero? Yes, nothing would make me more popular than to knock on my neighbor’s door “reminding” them their yard sort of blows and could use a few trees.

Not to mention their flyer makes a few choice comments about how some folks have tried to fix up their yards but they’ve planted the wrong trees, haven’t maintained them properly, etc. Basically letting us know we got some deadweight in the area and we need to regulate. This seems like a request to envoke a CC&R on tree planting doesn’t it?.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for neighborhood beautification and support, but there always seems to be a covert agenda with these things.

And, besides, I thought neighbors defined a neighborhood.

Author: RonTopofIt

RonTopofIt is a complex personality, as are most of the small breed of modern day renaissance millionaires. He wishes more people were like him and yet believes that it takes all kinds. You've met RonTopofIt many times, you just don't remember him.

11 thoughts on “What defines you?”

  1. Where does that page say anything about regulation or straightening up the bad apples? Street trees are a community thing, not just an individual thing, and when someone plants some dumbass thing like a tree that is prone to mistletoe, or one that drops very heavy branches during normal Sacramento winters, or one that is going to grow fast and then topple over if it isn’t properly maintained, it’s not just the person who planted it that is going to be affected. It’s every pedestrian or passerby that has to deal with the problem. I can tell that you’ve never had your windshield smashed by a fallen tree branch.

    It seems to me that helpful neighbors are the RIGHt way to deal with that. Nobody is talking about city ordinances or CC&Rs, as far as I can tell. But in the last five years we’ve had about $2000 in damage done to our property by neighbors’ poorly-maintained trees, and the easiest time to prevent those problems is when the trees are young or haven’t been chosen yet. Once a badly-chosen or poorly-pruned tree is 40 feet tall, fixing the problems becomes a very expensive proposition.

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  2. I say, “As long as your neighbors don’t have one of those unsightly wheelchair ramps, let them be”

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  3. I’m with RonTopofIt (for legal as well as philosophical reasons). “The Arden Tree Program is a grass roots effort of local residents to preserve the quality of life in our older neighborhoods.” Sounds like code to me. If misteltoe is your biggest problem, congrats.

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  4. If you are afraid of the answer, don’t ask. If they’d thought the thing out properly, they’d just plant the trees in the dead of night, and no one would be the wiser. Who checks their yard for trees planted surreptitiously overnight?

    And if you choose the right kind of tree (like the ones that drop spiked golf balls, or that drop giant LIMBS on passers by), or plant it in the right location (middle of the sidewalk), you can rid the neighborhood of any pesky unsightly or disturbing riff raff!

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  5. “If misteltoe is your biggest problem, congrats.”

    No, actually, the 40-foot tree three feet from my house, and dead from mistletoe and starting to lean in the direction of my bedroom, WAS my biggest problem because the neighbors who owned it could not afford the $6,000 to have it removed. Fortunately they refinanced their house and had it taken out before somebody got killed.

    “For legal reasons”? What are those “legal reasons”? Because lord knows that neighbors handing out fliers has grave legal ramifications for a neighborhood.

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  6. Beth: the legal reasons pertain to why I’m rhetorically “with” RonTopofIt, not to the fliers.

    I (“CoolDMZ”) am contractually obligated not to publicly disagree with RonTopofIt (“RonTopofIt”) on matters of neighborhood beautification (“beautification”). Both of us are also bound by a “shrink wrap” agreement not to resell Sac Rag merchandise at public events.

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  7. First they came for the fruitless mulberry, but my tree was not a fruitless mulberry – so I said nothing. Then they came for the liquid amber, but my tree was not a liquid amber – so I said nothing. Then they came for my modesto ash, and there was no one left who could stand up for us.

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  8. I agree with RonTopofit but I’m wondering if there is perhaps a flyer for “ENCOURAGE YOUR NEIGHBORS NOT TO PARK THEIR CARS ON THEIR LAWNS AND LET THEIR PIT BULL RUN WILD” or “ENCOURAGE PASSERSBY NOT TO THROW THEIR EMPTY CIGARETTE CARTONS IN MY YARD” because my block has a few issues of concern to remedy before it gets to worrying about trees.

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  9. I hear that, Megan. And as an added bonus, your neighbors wouldn’t have to refinance their homes to pay for not throwing empty cigarette cartons on your yard or parking their cars on their lawns.

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  10. This is killing me. Neighbors do make the neighborhood Rontopofit, not the tree. You’re right. Does that include neighbors with the great wall of china baracading their house in as if it’s the second coming? I’m with Megan. Let’s worry about the real concerns like the drug-dealing, crack-smoking, street walkin’ fools we all have on our streets (don’t judge….we all have them). Or what about the JA’s with dogs that dig out from under their fences. I spend half my day dealing with those neighbors.

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