Grow Throughs

April 1, 2019

 

Unfortunately, one sees this landscaping oversight and eyesore everywhere.  The problem is easily avoidable, but property owners and managers allow weedy vines, shrubs and trees to develop under and within the canopy of shrubs and low branched trees creating what I call grow throughs.  The grow throughs spoil the appearance of the desired plant and, if not removed early, the eradication becomes challenging.  So, why does this occur?  First, most of the offending species are invasive and non-indigenous (e.g., white mulberry, Asian honeysuckle, Callery pear, wintercreeper) as well as the prolific native grey dogwood.  The seeds are commonly dispersed by wind or birds.  The second reason is that the property owner is negligent, often lazy (the I hate yard work crowd), and ignorant.  When the unwanted offending species are small it would take just a few minutes to eradicate them, but your typical homeowner and many "landscapers" do not know (this fact, or how to identify the unwanted) and many do not care--more concerned with things digital and pop culture.  I comment in my book (Ranting of a Mad Botanist) that we are not a gardening society, this landscaping oversight is a prime example why.  I see grow throughs in the vast majority of properties.  Later on the grow through species can become so big (pirating space and resources) as to dwarf the offended plant and make eradication more difficult--the overseers too busy volcano mulching trees and butchering their misplaced yews.  [Boy was I in a ranting mode when I crafted this]  We can do better.  Ask for advice from an experienced person, and accept (i.e., act on) the advice.  Be advised that cutting these unwanted woody perennials above ground level is often no more than a cultivation act rather than an eradication action.

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