Well, either the puzzle was too easy or you guys are too smart! Deb, Christopher, Lori, Foy, Jim, and Hap go to the head of the class – it was, indeed, staking material left on way too long. Here’s a photo from over 10 years ago. I’m not sure this is the very same tree, but it’s from the same parking lot/torture chamber:
I “liberated” these trees with my handy wire-cutters (never leave home without them) shortly after taking the pictures. Several take-home lessons from this example:
1) Plastic tubing does not protect bark from girdling wire injury
2) Parking lot trees, even in very upscale shopping malls, are abysmally managed
3) Trees are amazingly resilient
Have a good week!