The threat to our beloved Garry oak does not come from palm trees, it comes from pavement-creep, so let's save our energies to fight that. Like it or not, Victoria really is the "palm tree capital of Canada" as the Tourism group claims with its fundraiser for the Boy Scouts. The native plant purists don't think the tropical cousins should have retail space right in front of Oak Bay municipal hall, so it would probably be diplomatic if the palm tree enthusiasts did find another spot. There is room for everything in our gardens - so far. The question is, with the amount of garden destruction going on in the name of "development," how long will that be so? For now, we sure don't want a city where someone can tell you what you can and cannot plant in your own garden. It would be a pretty drab town if it was native plant only; no bright blooms and exquisitely variegated exotics? No way. One house just behind Oak Bay's municipal hall has a palm and a monkey puzzle tree (native to Argentina) both reposing exotically in the front garden - and it looks great. Let's restore more Garry oak meadows for sure (if you're going to lobby Council why not lobby it to purchase park space?), but let's keep free choice in horticultural tastes as well.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Palm Trees in Victoria - the annual palm tree vs oak tree dust-up
In one corner is Tourism Oak Bay with palm tree enthusiasts, in the other are the Garry oak defenders, and this year the latter are throwing down the gauntlet. Tree Watch loves all trees, and won't weigh in or take bets - but it is awkward that tree-lovers have to fight among themselves.