Friday, October 24, 2008

Oops!: Mistakes in Pomona's Landscape (California Fan Palm vs. Mexican Fan Palm)

One of my first impressions of Pomona, before I moved here, was of this mistake made in the landscape in front of the Pilgrim Congregational Church on Garey near Holt.

This image is more recent with the church undergoing some rehabilitation. It seems like most people don't notice, but considering the field I'm in it's very obvious to me. These trees are all different trees. Let's do this, the shorter and wider trunk tree is the California Fan Palm now referred to as (C), and the Mexican Fan Palm which is much taller and thinner will be (M). So in the picture it's (C)(M)(C)(C)(M)(M)(M)(M). That's 3 California Fan Palms and 5 Mexican Fan Palms all mixed together. Here's another image.

Now, if you are familiar with Pomona there is a row of California Fan Palms in front of the YMCA, which looks consistent and cohesive, and in other areas there are also Mexican Fan Palms (across the street from the church). So it is fairly obvious that it is meant to be one consistent Palm in front of the church. The question is, which one was it supposed to be? Because of the size of the palms you can tell that they've been here for quite a long time, but I hope it was the California Fan Palm since Mexican Fan Palms are invasive in this region.

When these plants are young it is easy to confuse the two especially to the untrained eye.

There is another place where the mistake occurs

This is on front of the Pomona Catholic School on Garey and White.

I sometimes wonder if these mistakes are a reflection of the disorganization of the city as a whole. If old street trees like these are hastily put together and gathered without a second thought or any sort of verification, then is the rest of the city put together like that? I hope not. I hope the next leaders of Pomona really put their best foot forward and really pay attention to the city's needs.

There are other places where this mistake occurs, and to be fair it is a common mistake when the trees are very very young. But I wonder if the mistake will ever be fixed, (if they do I hope they replant the removed trees).


meg said...

We lived up in Silicon Valley before we moved down here, and I noticed the phenomenon of replacing dead or blown-down MFPs (which had presumably been chosen for their rather spectacular looks) with CFPs.

One read of this is that it was done in order to stay native, an aesthetic that is much stronger now than it was 40 years ago.

But another possibility is that it was done because (I'm told) it's easier to plant mature CFPs.

In any case, it looks sloppy to me.

me said...

Well now that you've pointed this out, Andrew, it's gonna bug me every time I drive by. :)

Recently the City planted 2 pear trees I believe in Lincoln Park. They looked ridiculous, had nothing to do with any of the other trees there (oaks, camphors, etc), and luckily one of them has aready died. IN that case, I was told that they were left over from something else, so they stuck them there.

G of P

Anduhrew said...

those must have been left over from the pears that line garey south of downtown. Sorry to have pointed out something that's going to bug you all the time now! I just couldn't keep it in any longer!

Garrett Sawyer said...

Haha, yes, I've noticed that as well, however it doesn't really bother me. After all, nature is supposed to be random and asymmetrical. ;) I don't see it as a mistake or a flaw...It's true that a line of one type of tree would be more striking to the eye but a line of trees similar to one another of various height adds depth to the perception of the skyline, a more natural view I suppose. Both options equally as appealing in my opinion. I'm just glad there are trees even there in those places...haha. The city is in desperate need of trees in some areas.