The perk of participating in a blog is you get a platform to vent on your pet peeves. Recently I’ve seen several classic examples of ‘Carrot-top’ syndrome. No, I’m not talking about the red-headed comic; though he tends to annoy me too.
Annoying Carrot-top #1.
The ‘Carrot-top’ I’m referring to occurs when white pine trees are sheared as Christmas trees but then planted as landscape trees. The typical result is that the side and lower branches remain suppressed while the terminals go crazy. I’m not sure why syndrome occurs in white pines and not other trees; it may be related to vigor of white pines and how hard the growers have to shear them to keep them in shape.
Annoying Carrot-top #2.
I love my friends in the nursery and Christmas tree industries and they work hard to grow quality trees, but this is one practice I’d like to see end. And, to be fair, they are giving customers what they want. If we set up a survey at a garden center and placed a 7’ sheared white pine next to a 7’ white pine that had been minimally pruned, 19 out of 20 people would take the tree that had been sheared to look like a Christmas tree. However, this is truly a case where less is more.