ginko

Hard prune

Hard pruning, ginko trees in Nakano

A crew of ten has been methodically hard pruning the ginkos on the main street in front of our apartment complex. I am amazed at the skills and resources devoted in Tokyo to public trees.

In San Francisco, the city is content with a 20 minute training session and a couple of chain saws. In Tokyo, trained arborists climb the trees, use hand saws and prune the trees into perfect shapes.

Hard pruning, ginko trees in Nakano

Fall leaves on the ground

Fall leaves on the ground

The solstice is past, and yet fall lingers in Japan. Today it’s about 60 degrees (maybe 18 celcius) and humid. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, but the photos above and below were taken just a few weeks ago.

The first three photos are from my favorite garden, Sentou Gosho, in Kyoto, designed by the 17th century artist and garden designer Enshuu Kobori. His designs are masterful– wandering paths, reflecting ponds, tea houses, stone and earthen bridges, thousands of flat stones mimicking the ocean shore. For all the glory of the impeccably manicured trees, moss and structures, some of the most astonishing sites are at foot-level.

Fall leaves on the ground with stones

The leaves include (Japanese) maple and ginko. The colors and patterns are brilliant. Given the large gardening staff, even fallen leaves can be considered designed. Their ephemeral nature adds to the beauty.

Perhaps these photos can inspire some ceramic designs.

Fall leaves on the ground with moss

I have to add this bizarre photo below. Despite the glory of kilometers of mature ginko trees turning gold, the city authorities deem it important to mark autumn with these hideous plastic leaves. Why?

Fake fall leaves on Tokyo street post