Chopped Before Its Time

While walking West on Monroe Avenue, in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, my wife and I could hear tree cutting as we approached cross-street Georgia. Sure enough, to our left, going towards Mission, a work crew cut and carted two palms. We had to investigate.

As you can see from the Featured Image and companions, all captured using Leica Q2, an extremely healthy-looking palm top is lifted and dumped. I wondered why and what was chopped. Annie and I walk down this street somewhat regularly, not recalling any recent road signs or other indications that the city would destroy more trees.

Google Maps tells all. Three-month-old Street View shows two palms proudly placed. One bears all the sickly signs of South American Palm Weevil infestation. But the other appears to be vibrant, which certainly confirms what these three photos show.

So why destroy both trees? I have no answer. Perhaps someone saw some weevils in the healthy tree’s palm crown. Maybe cost-efficiency tipped the decision; chop now rather than return later, even if a year away. Then there is containment: Take both, regardless of condition, in effort to save other trees.

The pests made their way to the county’s border with Mexico around 2011. But the first local infestation wouldn’t be observed for another five years. The destructive insects infest the heart of the Canary Island Date Palm crown, destroying it. I understand quickly removing sick trees, but seeing a seemingly healthy one destroyed disappoints; damn.

Photo vitals, aperture manually set for all: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 1 p.m. PDT, May 20, 2022. The other two are same but 1:02 p.m. and 1/800 sec and 1/640 sec, respectively.