Monday, March 23, 2009

Hula Girls

There is often a discussion in these parts as to the correct way to prune the native palms, Sabal palmetto or cabbage palm.  My impression is that Republican types e.g. golfers, like to see a tidy palm with any hint of a brown frond eradicated; whereas the more liberal sort prefer a looser (Republicans would say messier, unkempt, irresponsible, etc.) more relaxed appearance (gentler, smarter, etc.), i.e. leaving on all dead foliage and going for that "old Florida" look.   We go both ways on our property, opting for a little more neatness close to the house, and letting it all hang out elsewhere.   No dogmatists here!  I will confess to a mild preference for the tidier look, but I amuse myself by thinking that those trees with a full skirt of dead fronds bear a marked resemblance to hula dancers:

See what I mean?  Perhaps this explains why most palm tree collectors are men...  

At any rate, we have been told that it's allright to cut off the brown fronds, but a very bad idea to cut off the green, living ones (here's a very helpful lesson in palm pruning) - Why anyone would want to do so is a bit of a mystery to me, but apparently that is exactly what many landscaping companies do, leaving sad-looking trees behind that look as though they've exfoliated after a shocking experience: 

Philip has been very busy in his effort to free our property of the air potato, Dioscorea bulbifera.  This is one of many buckets he has filled of this nasty invasive vine.  It will no doubt be an ongoing project, comparable to our eradication of bittersweet and poison ivy from our yard up north.  There is plenty of the latter here as well, enjoying the Florida climate.

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