September 06, 2015

"Waterfall" Japanese maple? I'll be dammed!

Another example of bad pruning in a Toronto garden

I don't maintain lawns so my clients either pay for another company to cut, fertilize and spray herbicides on their turf, do it themselves or simply don't have grass. Landscape maintenance companies also get involved with pruning and I'm sure you've seen many examples of meatballs as "foundation plantings" where you live. (I like the term "landscape management" better because it more accurately reflects the business philosophy of looking after a large block of clients with big areas of turf on their properties). "Meatballs" are especially popular around commercial establishments like gas stations and coffee shops, as profiled in another post titled "Trust Me: I'm a Professional Landscaper When did yews become checker pieces?

I felt compelled; however, to show you arecent example of a questionable, to be extremely charitable, pruning job at one of my client's front garden. I did not do this!

Waterfall Japanese maple bad pruning by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Acer palmatum "Waterfall" Japanese maple
without the waterfall

To give you some context, this weeping-form  Japanese maple is normally a wonderful lace-leaf green variety that is called at times "Waterfall" or "Viridis." The specimen above didn't invoke images of water tumbling over anything. To be honest, I see a somewhat flattened green macaroon.

Although it did make me weep a little.

Here's the view from the front porch looking down. Tell me what you see! It will be kind of like a horticultural Rorschach test.

Kind of cool how this green disc seems to be hovering!

Bad pruning of Waterfall Japanese maple by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Bad pruning example of
a "Waterfall"  Japanese maple

What to make of all this? I don't have an axe to grind with these "mow-blow-go" guys (and it's almost always men who wield the gas-powered clippers) who can't/don't/won't distinguish between a shrub versus a small tree (!) They don't have an incentive to prune properly because, likely, their pay reflects being a "labourer" and they have to haul their butts to the next job site (or to grab a coffee or a smoke, etc.)

You really do get what you pay for in life, though, and if/when a potential client states that "you're too expensive" or variations of "you want me to pay you what to pull a few weeds?!", I'll send them this blog link to perhaps enlighten and illuminate the true cost of things.

By the way, this is what a "Waterfall" Japanese maple, in the fall, should look like, unbutchered:

Laceleaf Japanese maple  Acer palmatum dissectum Viridis autumn foliage by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Laceleaf Japanese maple
(Acer palmatum dissectum "Viridis")  autumn foliage

A great reminder that autumn is around the corner. I hope you had a wonderful summer and thank you for continuing to read "garden muses", the dozen of you guys and gals out there!