Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hey, I'm back!!

This Elm has led a fairly good life despite these super obvious and huge girdling roots. And lack of soil and growing space. Yay for it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sensless Mutiliation

This was taken at a Wendy's somewhere in Ohio. Unfortunately for the tree, two van-loads of Horticulturists happened upon it and gaped openly.

I don't understand why this was done. There's nothing above the tree, it doesn't need to be shorter. And, I'm sure this "pruning" was a lot of work, and probably expensive. What's the point?

Well, I'm sure it will look beautiful after/if it leafs out.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bag Worms

Is this beautiful Christmas Tree decorated with ornaments? No, it's a Colorado Blue Spruce covered in Bag Worms. Covered. At first, I thought this was a Douglas Fir covered in cones.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Hate Pruning Dreams II

So I guess this is intentional. The photo above is one of two trees with a sucker(?) wrapped around it, in some kind of whimsical way. Although, it's still unclear if the tree was purchased that way, or if it was created by the homeowner, who is probably a witch.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


This pear looks like an alien creature trying to make out with itself. This whole street of brand new condos is lined with this craziness. While I was taking these photos one of the street's residents passed me, and avoided eye contact. Probably because he was ashamed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Majestic Elm

I know it's not really fair to show elm volunteers because they always look terrible, and they almost seem to prefer climbing up a chain link fence, but this is so wrong. Why is that tree still there? You can see the gutter and the tree are impacting each other's shape, so why? Why?

Of course, there's probably no way it could be safely removed now so we'll just have to see who wins, the tree or the garage, or the telephone pole/lines.

Monday, April 13, 2009

This is something else I don't understand. I think this tree was hit by a car when it was younger. On both sides. These pictures are of the same tree. Maybe mulch would help.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


There's not really much to this, it's just a stump that was left. It's hard to tell what happened, it almost looks like someone ripped the tree down. It'd be interesting to know if the homeowner or the City has any plans for this space, or if they're just going to leave it as is for now.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Strange but True

This Tree of Heaven trunk looks just like a dinosaur foot! These trees are so ugly. I get a kick out of them because they literally grow everywhere, but they are truly ugly.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Here is some kind of huge canker/battle scar on a poplar. I guess I wouldn't want this next to my house, or near power lines.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

P.S. This saw is manufactured by Poulan, which is not my preferred chainsaw manufacturer. In case there was any confusion. Who would even buy this thing? It looks like a toy. And why is it available in 18"? Anyone who would buy this should have no necessity for 18" of chainsaw. That sounds like a disaster.

I Hate Pruning Dreams

This is interesting. Do you think this tree was actually purchased this way? Was this "style" marketed? It's kind of funky, in a don't-get-too-much-bigger sort of way, but overwhelmingly, I just want to cut that weird branch off. I don't know if I can even sleep knowing this is out there ... it would be so satisfying...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Reduction Cut Pt. 3

In Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. I don't understand this type of thing. Why don't you just remove it? Plant something else! Another willow even! It'll come back to almost that size in a few years, why embarrass yourself?

Reduction Cut Pt. 2

In Madison last weekend I took this photo from a moving vehicle, but you can see this oak was topped, and how much better it looks, now. Another awesome photo below

Reduction Cut

This awesome reduction cut was obviously intentional. We are very careful to maintain single leaders here in Chicago.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


These roots have no where to go. This is a 40 foot silver maple and I bet the roots have about 18 inches of "soil" to grow into. Sad.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wild Thing

I saw this at the Farm & Fleet in Montgomery, IL last month. I thought it was awesome. I wish I had one, because I also consider myself somewhat of a "Wild Thing."

Storm Damage

This silver maple lost that main branch in a storm (surprised?) in AUGUST 2007!!! May I remind you that it is March of 2009? It's been 18+ months since it fell. In fact, I took a photo of it when it happened because the damage all around was so significant. So, this enormous stub was left to... resprout? Maybe, one can never be sure what will happen, trees are so mysterious.

All right, enough sarcasm. I'm sorry, I know the city is busy, they have lots to do. That tree is obviously an inherent hazard and should be removed, anyway. The most cost-effective way to do that would be to invite some internal rot and the tree will just remove itself! Brilliant.


Think this pear could use some pruning? If we're lucky some conscientious homeowner will get rid of those suckers, and leave some nice, long stubs. Maybe they'll even cut the branches with a hack saw, or a pair of scissors. We can only hope.

Here's his neighbor, also in great shape.


Some excellent mulching. I know it's March, and we've had a lot of rain, and things can get moved around in the snow... but this is so common. This was obviously done last summer, perhaps with the intention of creating the coveted "pole in the ground" look. Success! Unforch, I don't know if the homeowner or the city is responsible for this.

B & B, forever

This tree was planted, along with many others like it, along Chicago Ave. recently. The parking lot behind it was undeveloped space for a while, then sometime in the last year they "landscaped" it. You can see how the trees are still balled and burlaped!! Maybe they are just temporary.... Unfortunately, I'm sure they are temporary, but not necessarily intentionally so :(

At least we know they were planted high enough! That's rare, guess somebody knew what they were doing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

welcome to mistreeted

My name is Emily, and I'm a horticulturist at the Morton Arboretum, in Lisle, IL. I live in Chicago, on the West Side. Since I work with trees all day, I can't help but criticize the tree care that I witness in the City of Chicago everyday. For years I've been snapping photos of atrocities I come across, and I've finally decided to share them.

Also, thanks to Andy for the super punny, totes clever blog title.