Pity the poor eucalyptus.
It’s derided as a “giant weed.” Picked on for shedding bark and pods and leaves on our highways and byways. Booed at a meeting of the Native Plant Society (our thanks to L.A. Times columnist Robin Abcarian for that tidbit).
And, finally, regarded as an invasive Aussie interloper that should be rooted out, once and for all.
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Right now, in fact, the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve in Cambria is seeking a permit to remove all 175 blue gum eucalyptus on the site, according to a Viewpoint in The Cambrian by Claudia Harmon Worthen.
Worthen, who’s president of the Beautify Cambria Association, suggests removing just the saplings and young trees, and keeping 60 larger, more mature eucs. Those serve as a windbreak; prevent erosion; and provide habitat for raptors and other nesting birds, she writes.
Also, they’re pretty (our word, not Worthen’s) and their mass removal would leave an ugly scar on the land.
We may be going out on a limb here, but we, too, would prefer a more gradual eradication of eucalyptus at Fiscalini Ranch.
We toss the Beautify Cambria Association a bouquet of — what else? — fragrant eucalyptus branches for reminding us that, for all their faults, eucs have their virtues as well.
Bouquets & Brickbats appear periodically in The Tribune. If there’s something (or someone) you would like to honor with a bouquet or chastise with a brickbat, email your idea to email@example.com.