Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. A bird, having recently eaten a mulberry fruit or two, defecates while perched on a planted young woody ornamental, in this case a crabapple. The seeds wash down the trunk, germinate at the base of the desired ornamental sapling and, because of its more rapid growth, the mulberry (the orange-tan bark species) overtakes and ruins the planting. This is a form of grow-through. It happens because mulberry is a serious reseeder and because the person responsible for maintaining the site is ignorant, botanically uneducated and lazy. Notice also the intertwining, light brown barked, deadly nightshade.

Rant of the Month

Unfortunately, most people know little about gardening and environmental issues including many "professionals" employed to choose, install and maintain plants and design landscapes. This page highlights specific issues with commentary on remedy or recommendation for course of action. Examples are numerous and easy to find -- rarely requiring me to travel far from home.  Hopefully, these postings will make the task of finding examples more difficult.  I will occasionally also post outstanding and approved examples in an effort to educate.