Vanity view

At the end of a hard day like this one, I love to paddle my kayak on the lake. Drifting, looking at water and trees and green …. so soothing.

Sometimes, though, the lakeshore greenline is shattered. I see a group of trees that look like they’ve been hit with a terrible disease. One that is slowly eating their foliage, from the ground up, until just their little green tops are left.

When we first moved here, I didn’t know what this disease was. Now I know.

I call it the vanity view.

Trees got priority in the architectural controls for our community, which is why it looks like a national park – but it means you can’t cut down any tree, even on your own property, without permission.

Naturally, people who have houses along the lake still want to have views of the water. We have skilled tree service workers who can prune the trees, a snip here and a snip there, so that the residents have a view, but the trees still look natural. It’s called “vista pruning,” and a pruning supervisor has to be present to be sure it’s done right.

Before vista pruning was regulated, though, some people just took ALL the branches off the trees. Not only can they see the view, but we can all see their giant houses. A vanity view.

With a bunch of toothpick trees in front of it.

vista prune

It’s possible that this was not vanity. Perhaps they simply didn’t realize that cutting every single branch off every single tree in front of their home would look really ugly. Perhaps the view from within was the only thing that mattered.

Today’s penny is a 2008, the year that our community rewrote the guidelines for vista pruning.