Why oh why? (Buried alive version)

Sometimes when I’m stumped for ideas for blog posts, I get in my car and drive around my neighborhood.  Usually within 10 or 15 minutes I’ll see something stupid enough to write about.  Today was no exception. We live in a mostly rural area north of East Lansing but development is slowly but surely encroaching around us.  Part of that development includes a couple of golf courses.  One of the golf courses recently announced they were going to develop a high-end RV park adjacent to their course.  If you’re like me, ‘high-end’ and ‘RV park’ don’t sound like they belong together in the same sentence but I’ll take their word for it.  In any event, when the project was announced the developers placated local residents by noting they would install a large berm around the RV park to screen it off from two highly traveled roads next to the park.  Said berm was installed about a month ago.


Anyone see anything wrong with this picture?  There are about a dozen trees in similar straights.  Doesn’t give me much faith in the rest of this project…

I think the one on the right will be OK (it’s a telephone pole).  The one on the left, not so much…

“Quit yer bitchin’.  Ya wanted a berm, we built ya a dawgone berm!”


13 thoughts on “Why oh why? (Buried alive version)”

  1. (As in dire straights. Look it up.) We see it happening all over the area, but it’s usually mulch piled up several feet deep, not soil. One of the first projects I worked on with an Urban Tree Specialists group was a berm built around a development. Most of the trees had been buried at least a foot deep. By the time we got to them, some were nearly dead, some might have been saved with proper measures. Nothing was done and now the berm is mostly barren.

  2. Bert I love your first line! Sounds exactly what I do, but I can generally walk a short distance to find something.

    Take photos of the trees every year at the same time, preferably when they’ve leafed out. Then you’ll have a great time line to use for your arboriculture talks.

  3. Poor trees. It’ll be interesting to see how they show decline, how long they survive now they have been buried, and the effect their eventual removal may have on trees adjacent to them. Will you track them for The Garden Professors?

  4. Ugh, how irresponsible. I agree, it would make a good timeline if you could take photos in subsequent years to document the grisly aftermath of the berm-building. In response to commenters above, “dire straits” is correct spelling, from sailing term “to be in dire straits,” as in to be compelled to sail throug
    h a particularly dangerous strait, or narrow waterway (i.e. Strait of Magellen). Also see: band, name of.

  5. Yes, I’ll keep tabs on the trees over time. I drive by this location almost daily. And I stand corrected on the spelling of ‘straits’, which is especially embarrassing since Dire Straits is one of my favorite bands. If spell check doesn’t catch it I’m dead in the water…

  6. Dire straits. Look it up, SandyG.

    There originally was a slope between the road and the lawn at my house. The sellers we bought from put in a four foot wall at the base of the slope and filled it in with rubble and dirt. So far, the only tree that has died was the mountain ash that was completely buried at the base. The other trees, being at the ends of the wall had only a quarter of their root zones compromised and have survived.

    If you write that company, remind them that their insurance will be responsible for any damage their dead trees cause. A living tree falling is an act of God. A dead tree falling is negligence.

  7. Oh so sad. I have the two dogwood in similar “straits” at the property I manage – the powers that be having decided that a berm was the way to go. Unfortunately, it happened before I worked here, and I have resigned myself to the fact that I will be watching the slow demise of my beautiful dogwoods as the years progress. The bad news? They want another berm on the other side where I have four gorgeous red maples. Teachable moments, here I come! Just say no to berms! Bermed trees are dead tress! If I can show a photo timeline or take them over to the ill-fated dogwoods, hopefully it will sink in.

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