Sunday, August 18, 2013

Timber!! A Tree Execution - São Paulo

This was the scene on the roadway on my way to pick up my son from his capoeira lesson today. One lane of a big road was diverted as an old tipuana tree was being slowly cut down, branch by huge branch. It had finally invaded too much of the roadway and the electric wires, and was listing dangerously. There is a man on the middle of the final branches chainsawing the boughs and letting them fall to the roadway. The tree execution involved at least 20 people from the city crew, plus transit cops plus more than a few bystanders gaping open-mouthed.  A sad end to an old giant.

As I think I have mentioned in a previous blogs, roadside trees "belong" to the city. If you want to have them trimmed or cut down, you need to petition the city. You may then have to wait a long time to have the work done. When we had a request in to the city to trim a tree threatening our driveway, it took the city six months to show up, and then the crew waited two whole days, sitting and smoking and joking on the sidewalk curb, for the electric company to come and shut off power (required when near any electric wires--given the rat's nest of wires here, everything is). After all of the wait, the city crew left one decrepit old bough because they had found a bird's nest there--that's nice but of course they didn't come back to cut the rest when the birds had left the nest.  I await that bough's inopportune drop on my car any day.

By the way, the blue sign above the roadway is from the famous drive to report a robbery. It shows the 23rd Battalion of the Policia Militar - Headquarters. Do not attempt to report a crime of any kind there. Headquarters is not for us (which seriously makes me question why there is a sign!)

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