My lovely neighbor across the street from me lives in a beautiful 1920s Spanish bungalow complete with a walled courtyard and bubbling fountain. The centerpiece of the courtyard was an exquisite Jacaranda mimosifolia tree. I say ‘was’ because all that is left of this tree as of Saturday is a small pile of wood.
If you’ve lived in Los Angeles for more than a year or visited during May or June, you’ve seen the purple clouds of flowers all over the city that are the Jacaranda tree. They are planted along avenues from Beverly Hills to Van Nuys. They are gracefully shaped trees whose flowers are the most perfect purple. They symbolize springtime in Los Angeles. They are messy when they shed their flowers, and a lot of people hate them (including apparently my neighbor).
I happened to take the photo above the day before the tree was removed by my neighbor and his horrible tree trimmers. It was perfectly in bloom. I cried when it came down. Why get so emotional over a tree? A tree is life. It was always full of happy birds. It brought shade to the sidewalk and blocked the view and sound of the freeway off-ramp. The tree trimmers also hacked apart some other trees in his yard making them look like an amateur hair cutter got a hold of them.
I get it. The tree was causing damage to his courtyard. It was too big for the space. It’s his tree, and it’s not an endangered species, so he can do with it as he wishes.
But I’m still sad. It’s always hard to lose something so beautiful. This year I planted two new fruit trees in my front yard. It may be time to find a space for my own Jacaranda.
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