August 12, 2010

Dominion of Minions

I spent a delightful 90 minutes out of the heat recently, in an air conditioned movie theater watching the animated film Despicable Me.  I fell in love with the goofy, goggled, giggling Minions who serve their evil villain.  They're shaped like twinkies, just as soft and yellow. Who doesn't crack up at their high pitched babble and antics?  Just watch them!

They reminded me of something I couldn't put my finger on right away.   And then I came across these pictures I took last winter.
Why would anyone do this?  These aren't little foundation shrubs, shaped into gumdrops.  This is a planting of healthy Pinus strobus, white pines, huge native trees that can only be described as noble, with haunting, open habits in maturity.  It's an installation of dozens and dozens of 20 foot high rotund columns.  I drive by them every day and have even watched the landscapers at work on tall ladders with extension pruners keeping these things sheared and twinkie shaped.

Do they remind you of a group of those giggling tubby shaped minions?  Do they?

The Renegade Gardener spews better than anyone about landscaping nightmares (check out his tab on "Don't DO that").  And Plant Amnesty, whose mission is to end the senseless torture and mutilation of trees and shrubs, has a gallery of bad pruning you can check out.

Here is my own plea.  Don't Do This.  Stop the mutilation:

And don't plant two side by side and shear them into stocky little minions to guard an entrance.  All these two need are goggles and overalls:

Here's a grouping of white pines left unsheared.  So much better, don't you think?:


  1. I would just faint if I saw someone actually chopping on a pine tree to turn them into minions. Geez. What a shame.

  2. P.S. I had quite a chuckle at Tree Amenesty site. I could add some of my neighbor's pruning to that collection. Of course I shouldn't say anything because I rarely prune anything unless it gets in my way. It drives everyone crazy, except me. Ha..

  3. LOL! Laurrie, they do look like minions. Just spray paint them yellow, and there you go. I feel the same way about such pruning. It looks stupid. Have you seen Toy Story 3 yet?~~Dee

  4. Lisa, There are examples of bad pruning everywhere! I get a kick out of the Plant Amnesty site.

    Dee, I haven't seen Toy Story3, but I was so taken with the yellow tubby minions, I went back to see Despicable Me twice!

  5. I agree, those trees look ridiculous when pruned like that. It reminds me of a large condo complex I used to walk through on my lunch break in Norwalk. I was amazed that all the trees were permanently dwarfed by regular pruning that required a bucket truck.

    I had never seen mature trees pruned like that. What an expense for the homeowners to boot.

  6. Fern, that has to be the worst of it: the labor and the expense to keep the mutilation up!


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