I’m all for trees, and trees on public rights-of-way at the edges of residential properties are complex mixed goods that I don’t find it too offensive if a government supplies them and then asks homeowners to do a little to maintain them. Nevertheless, what they’ve done to Toronto blogger “Politique Vert” seems wrong:
We have a new tree the city gave us after our 100 year old Maple tree died of old age and too many root cuttings by the gas company. The new tree is an ugly honey locust with barely any branches, just a few on the very top. It looks like a scrawny mutant palm tree. The tag that was on it when it was planted said I’m supposed to give it 2 or 3 full pails of water a day in the summer for the next 2 years. You’re supposed to add water until some of it stands and doesn’t drain into the soil right away. Watering with a hose is easier but you never know how much water is actually going in. Hauling the pails is a drag but it’s faster than standing around with a hose in my hand at 6 am.
(Emphasis mine.) Honey locusts barely grow in southern Ontario. I grew up on a street in the Toronto suburbs that had several of them and they were tall, leggy things with sparse, pale leaves that always looked like they were dying even as they got taller and leggier year after year. Whereas maples, you practically can’t stop from growing. Politique Vert, being a green sort, might keep the thing alive till it can grow on its own, but it seems to me something a little less demanding of the citizenry would be a better public investment.