Saturday, July 16, 2011

Street trees of Tokyo

It has been one-and-a-half years since my last trip to Japan, but I still feel compelled to blog about it. Not sure if it is a good sign, but I am going to do it anyway.

When in Japan, you don’t have to be a horticulturist to notice that they spend a lot more time looking after their street trees. Some of them just stop you dead in your tracks. The photo above on the left shows an old plum tree featuring large areas of exposed wood on its trunk. The photo above on the right shows a painstakingly manicured Black Pine outside a private gate. Even trees looked after by the local government are impressive. Below are a few examples. The photo on the left shows bamboo used as road side planting. I am not sure what species it is, but most of them are ‘runners’ or ‘clumpers’ and will involve a bit of maintenance to keep them as they are on this picture. The photo in the center shows a pine trained into a pleasing shape, which also allows the passage of street cables. The photo on the right shows a deciduous tree, which has been carefully pruned every year to maintain a compact crown in one of the busy streets of Tokyo.

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