City Greenery 町の緑 

Sometimes we are impressed by people’s respect for trees. These photos were taken on Park Avenue in New York City. Scaffolding like this is often seen in Manhattan to create a safe walkway for pedestrians during construction. There are often trees taller than the scaffolding which peak out above the roof but this is different. The branches are sticking out from the advertisement for this new construction.  The trees look like they are around 10 years old or so and the panel is arranged to wrap the branches so carefully.  It looks like an art piece. The simple feeling that they do not want to cut down a tree resulted to the creation of this “ art”. Is it witty, and nice?  This reminded me of IKEBANA or “ flower arranging ” where the flowers are supposed to be cut and stand artificially on KENZAN or hundreds of spikes to keep the flower straight. But these trees are all alive so in fact you cannot call it Ikebana.



On the contrary sometimes, we are shocked by how easily trees are cut down only because it is going to be an obstacle in the way. The photos below are taken when we were walking in front of Oji shrine (this is a different shrine from the Oji Inari Shrine we did a post for, but located nearby). Probably the age of this tree is more than 100 years, so the city could have registered it as a restoration tree. This reminds me of UNESCO’s world heritage cities. Many local bodies are applying to obtain this registration because they will have a totally different future than those that are not registered as world heritage sites . Registered trees will get people’s attention, for this tree though it does not matter if  it was registered or not.

反対に、邪魔になった木が、すっぱり切られるのを見つけてアッとなることがある。下の写真は東京の王子神社( 前に載せた王子稲荷神社とは全然別、でもすぐ近く ) の前を通り過ぎたときに、たまたま見かけて撮ったもの。樹齢は100年以上だろうか、これだけ大きなクスなのだから、区の保存樹とかなんとかに指定されていなかったのだろうか?世界遺産を思い出した。指定されると、されないでその遺産のある町の運命が決まるので、各地で指名獲得運動が盛んらしい。指定される前と後で、その大切さは、変わらないはずなのだが、指定されてないと全然気に留められることがない。


after  アフター


after !  アフター !


before !!  ビフォー !!

The photo above was taken a year ago when the tree was still alive. The neighborhood still had a relaxed atmosphere despite it being a major node at Oji Station and the city ward hall. Probably these woods of the shrine contributed to the atmosphere, not just that there is less traffic and building density. Using a small path from inside the shrine you can walk down to the promenade posted in this blog. You will see Oji station right there. Luckily this ginkgo tree seems to be registered.