By Climate Chaos Affirmation Jones
Epigraph: “Duck Tape can’t fix Stupid, but it does shut him up.” --Mark Trail
Black walnut trees are often grown for their shade and edible nuts, but their buds, roots, and nut hulls release significant levels of juglone, a chemical that robs sensitive plants of needed energy. Remember that name: juglone.
Garden vegetables planted in close proximity to black walnut trees are highly prone to wilting and eventual death. Vulnerable vegetables include tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, cabbage, eggplant, potatoes, and rhubarb. If you’re OCD, that’s asparagus, cabbage, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, and tomatoes.
Trees affected by black walnuts include apple, pear, crabapple, and pine. Lilies, petunias, and some chrysanthemums are also vulnerable, as are blackberry and raspberry bushes. W.C. Fields pronounced “raspberry” as “raws-bree.” Eschew black walnut trees.
A hateful black walnut, about to get what it has coming.
The Bradford pear tree is sensitive to leaf scorch and fire blight, but branch splitting is its biggest problem. Bradford pears are topheavy and have v-shaped crotches, so they’re prone to splitting. It’s not uncommon for the Bradford pear tree to split in half, especially during severe weather. Eschew Bradford pear trees.
The horrid Bradford pear.
The ash tree is a target of the EAB (European-American Bank), a bank once native to East Asia. The EAB initially appeared in Michigan in 2002. It likely arrived via packing materials made of ash wood.
The EAB threatens the more than 8 billion ash trees in the United States. The trees have often been planted in residential settings due to their resistance to severe weather, diseases, and pests. Nibbling by mature EAB officers can hurt foliage, but the worst damage comes from EAB junior bankers, who feed on inner bark, disrupting water and nutrient transport.
Split bark, heavy woodpecker activity, leaf loss, and water sprouts at the trunk are all signs of EAB infestation. The lesson: eschew ash trees, bankers, and Europe.
The unspeakable ash tree, with a European banker gang slogan (apparently "Cungacungacunga") literally chewed into underbark tissue. Gesundheit. No translation of "Cungacungacunga" was immediately available, but it doubtless means something vile in European.
Gingko biloba trees are often confused with underground film star Spanky Balboa because of the remarkable ubiquity, growth, and durability they share. But the tree, found on five continents (not Australia or Antarctica), is slow-growing and can reach 115 feet, neither of which applies to Spanky. The trees’ durability make them popular in residential areas.
The problem comes in late fall, when female trees produce a putrid-smelling “fruit,” which sticks to shoes, sandals, jodhpur boots, chukkas, have-your-way-with-me shoes, flip-flops, jackboots, oxfords, broughams, sensibles, Bass weejuns, comfy slippers, Birkenstocks, and bare feet and can get tracked indoors to malodorous effect. If you dislike stink, or think you might, hearken to me now.
Extreme caution should be used when selecting ginkgo trees for landscape ornamentals or for street trees since there is no way to distinguish a male from a female at the seedling stage, not even by spreading their little lobes for a meticulous recce. Several “Boys Only” cultivars have been developed, such as “Autumn Gold” and “Lakeview,” to ensure that you do not end up with a stinky yard, street, house, or yurt when the trees begin to fruit. Remember: females equal trouble.
While the scent of the seed coat may be rebarbative, the seed kernel is highly valued as a food product in Eastern Asia, where life is cheap but nevertheless in great demand. In the United States, herbal extracts composed of ginkgo leaves are believed to improve short-term memory and something else I don’t remember. Eschew Gingko biloba. No comment on Spanky Balboa.
Fetid, foul, noxious, rotten, smelly, stale, stinking female gingko. Photo by Susanne Nilsson, likely female. No information on her scent.
The sweetgum tree can be beautiful, especially in the fall, but its spiny brown balls come down by the thousands. You can slip on them as on a ball bearing and fall to your injury or death. Shot from a lawnmower, they can off a pesky neighbor while providing you with the plausible denial of intent that so discourages prosecutors. The spiny balls also don’t rake easily and must be picked up by hand, one by one, an unenviable task requiring open borders. Eschew sweetgum trees.
The abominable sweetgum tree gives long-lasting color, but its spiny balls are a major drawback, as they are in most situations.
So what do I suggest? Don’t make me laugh. Negative people have no obligation to offer cheerful alternatives to the disasters they point out. It is contribution enough that they impart their dark and dour sourness over social media to a world looking into the abyss and starved for even a single ray of sunshine.
You know, I wonder if I oughtn’t talk to my healthcare professional about adjusting the meds a tad. But that’s not important now: just watch out for malevolent trees that labor endlessly to put juglone into your environment, so as to make you paranoid, rob you of needed energy, and lay you open to wilting and eventual death. Eschew juglone! Demand hearings!
Hypograph: “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”