This morning, an oak tree in my neighborhood was cited for vandalizing public property, by scattering its leaves on rainy pavement, causing the pigment of the leaves to stain the concrete underneath them. Residents of the home adjacent to the tree contacted local police, who arrived promptly to investigate the scene.
“Graffiti has been an ongoing nuisance in our community for years,” one officer stated, “but this case is the first of its… nature. Typically, the perpetrator is a person.” Certainly, this can’t be the first time a tree has imprinted its leaves on the pavement. This is merely the first time it’s been reported.
We spoke to the residents of the affected house. It turns out Mrs. Johnson is the one who made the call. “I had no choice but to take legal action,” Johnson explained. “This tree has an extensive history of vandalism to my property. I’ve warned the tree before, numerous times, not to tarnish my driveway and my sidewalk in this manner.”
“The sidewalk,” we corrected her, “not yours. Sidewalks are public property.”
“Sure, whatever,” grumbled Johnson. “The point is, as you can see, it failed to comply, and after so many repeated offenses, I’ve reached my wits end!” Johnson went on, “It’s bad enough having to hire gardeners to blow the leaves week after week, but this? Leaf-blowers don’t work on graffiti! I’m an interior decorator, and sometimes I meet clients in my home. The discoloration of my driveway conflicts with the color scheme of my house, which reflects poorly on me, as a decorator. This oak tree is losing me business, and something had to be done!”
We pointed out that the exterior of her home in no way represents her abilities as an interior designer. If anything, her failure to recognize the beauty in the tree’s seasonal street art raises more concerns about the soundness of her visual opinions. Most passersby would marvel and admire such a vision, and many do. Myself included. I’ve even stopped to pixelate the oak tree’s mural on one of my afternoon walks with my dog. Below are some more images of the scene of the crime.
Since the dawn of life—from the cave paintings of early humans to the pavement-paintings of the trees—graffiti has plagued our habitat for far too long, but rest assured that any public artist will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.