This week the one hundred foot eucalyptus tree near the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park had to be taken down. Acording to the Union Tribune, an arborist had declared the eucalyptus tree to be a threat to the theatre building. It's always sad when something that is flourishing has to be uprooted. I doubt very much that the tree was worried about crashing into the roof, so I guess it's not euthanasia, which is supposed to be a merciful killing to cut suffering short. Is it eucalyptophobia? Maybe preventive strike?
In an earlier post, "Sunshine in the Park," I narrated the tale of the Henry Moore sculpture which was partly upended when a eucalyptus fell on it. All over San Diego and Southern California, large eucalypti and palm trees are being felled. That's because they are old enough to be in danger of falling onto houses, cars, people, unicycles. Enough damage has already occurred to win the battle between the arboreal control party vs. the arboreal rights party.
Tree nurseries can supply 20 foot palm trees that settle right in to newer developments and shopping districts, looking elegant and tropical. I haven't heard that eucalypti are being planted. They do make fragrant garden chips, cover and mulch. Well, maybe not mulch; I think they poison other plants.
I wonder if eucalypti and platypi emerged from the same era? Australian flora and fauna are said to have developed separately after Pangaea broke apart.
For now, eucalypti adorn Southern California in abundance, with their slender trunks and high crowns.