Did you know?

My hometown for the last nine years used to have a beautiful downtown area called The Village.

There were mature trees every three to five parking spaces, and I do mean parking spaces, as shown in this photo from Google Maps:

la mesa village trees

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Notice that the two red-arrowed trees are actually planted in the street! It made for a unique downtown experience and provided lots of shade on a hot day.

La Mesa, California, The Jewel of the HillsSadly, about a year ago the City of La Mesa started removing all the trees with the last trees removed a few months ago. The citizenry was in an uproar when it was announced that the trees were to be removed but, as usual, elected representatives and other powers-that-be know best…………………..smh.

Since I have a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Texas A&M University, there’s a special place in my heart for trees. I’m always saddened when the electric company comes along and tops trees near electric lines, virtually killing them, or when apartment and condominium complexes decide to remove trees due to “maintenance issues.” In other words, they don’t want to maintain the trees, preferring concrete or dirt.

When I go to extraordinarily rich neighborhoods, though, it’s a pleasure to see that the inordinately wealthy seem to understand how much trees add to the beauty of the environment.

While I was up in a wealthy La Jolla beachside residence recently, I found evidence of the care that some people exhibit toward their trees.

In this first picture, many people would simply have chopped that pine tree down in order to have their view of the ocean. These people, however, did exactly what I like to do—they laced the tree so that they could see through it, making the tree look like a monster bonsai.

img_3025 tree la jolla stampPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Notice the bottom center of the picture where it looks like a huge branch is coming out of the wall. It looks like that because that is exactly what these people did, saving the huge branch by building the wall around it:

img_3027 tree wall stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Those are my type of people!

When I was a senior at Texas A&M University, my senior project in Urban Forestry was to determine how much value trees added to real estate. My group chose to do our research in River Oaks, the wealthiest area in Houston at the time, and probably still. After eight weeks of monitoring the real estate market there, we were able to determine that a mature tree (usually Texas Live Oaks) added between $50,000 and $75,000 to the value of a home in River Oaks. That was in 1977!

Trees need carbon to survive, so while we humans are breathing in oxygen and expelling carbon, trees via photosynthesis are using carbon and expelling oxygen, one more reason why we need our trees, especially the mature ones! Plants are the air-purifiers for planet earth. So, please, if you have a mature tree on your property, find a way to save it instead of chopping it down!

Here is another mature tree, this one a coral tree, in the same neighborhood:

img_3040 la jolla tree stamp


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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20 thoughts on “SAVED!


    Love the trees. What a shame that the trees in the parking lot was cut down. I like the shade. Especially for my car. And I always said, “A house is not a house without trees.” Have a great Fourth of July. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Su Leslie

    That is fascinating. I love that you actually got to do a project about the economic value of trees in real estate. Our local government regulations were relaxed recently to make it easier to chop down trees that get in the way of development and while people moan about it when it happens, someone must vote for the morons who make the rules 🙂 Great images.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. babso2you

    We have had to take down a number of trees for safety. Every tree that we have removed has been replaced by another less dangerous tree. We manicure our trees too because of fire safety regulations. I love my trees and enjoy them every day!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. insearchofitall

    Elected officials drink from the well of deep pockets. That’s what makes the decisions and keeps their paychecks coming. Trees are the lungs of the earth. When we chop down the last one, the earth will cease to exist and so will we. They aren’t a luxury, they are VITAL! I like them in parking lots too. I’ve had to take down trees that were dangerously leaning that turned out to be diseased. For each tree I took down, I planted 3 new. It’s nice that you are bringing attention to how valuable trees can be. Landscaping is of premium value to all real estate. My house in Calif sold before they ever walked inside. The outside won them over completely.


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I used to buy properties to renovate and flip, but to me the outside was more important than the inside, so all of them had curb appeal that wasn’t very appealing, which is why they sat on the market for so long before I found them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. insearchofitall

        I used to work for a landscape architect as a secretary. Learned a tiny bit but he didn’t do flowers, just design. When we sold our house in Burbank, we got $100,000 more for it than anyone expected. Took that sows ear and made a silk purse out of it. 🙂 It was the outside that sold it. First impressions.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          First impressions can be critical, especially in real estate. Back in the late ’70s when I was starting my renovation business, I would drive neighborhoods looking at houses. Those first impressions (for ugliness, though) made my possibility list.

          Liked by 1 person


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