My Beloved went to Shanghai on business, and brought back some interesting photos. Newly planted or transplanted trees have their trunks wrapped in rope...is it for stress reduction? Or cold protection?
There's also a small support installed next to the trunk, two verticals and a crossbar, often made of just branches.
The current style here in California for supporting young trees is two tall verticals with the tree supported between them by rubber straps, the tree allowed to flex with the breezes to a certain point. The belief is that a certain amount of flexing strengthens the trunk; that holding the trunk rigid is actually bad since the trunk cannot build up strength if held motionless. China's method of rope-wrapping plus small support--I'd be interested in a professional Arborist's take on that idea. In the sub-tropical climate of Shanghai, the fiberous ropes must rot away after a relatively short amount of time.
Rope-wrapped tree in Pudong New Area District, Shanghai:
The other interesting feature of tree planting in Shanghai is that most all of them were planted on mounds a couple of feet higher than the surrounding soil. Drainage? My Beloved tried to communicate with the local gardeners, but their English was no better than most of the gardeners here in California.
Trees planted on mounds (no, they are not mulch volcanos) in Shanghai, China:
The same trees, from above, left hand side of photo:
Other interesting plantings in Shanghai are civic standards world-wide. Pelargoniums and Petunias seem to be as much the potted annuals of choice in Shanghai as well as the rest of the planet. People seemed to be enjoying them.
As universal as potted Pelargoniums fast food!:
The Four Sacred Dragons hold up the world, while the Colonel smiles upon them:
The lush view from the hotel breakfast bar window shows Shanghai's subtropical climate, hot and humid:
There was a patch of landscape roses nearby, but humid heat is murder for roses. I speculate they must be regularly doused in fungicide to be able to hold their foliage in what must be Blackspot heaven:
More successful was a group of succulent covered mesh geese rising from a canal flowing out of one of Shanghai's two rivers.
My Beloved was unable to determine the type of plants the geese were wearing. A gardener came to tend them at one point, but he didn't speak much English either, beyond the universal language of a nod and a smile.
Back at home, I was admiring some local examples of What We Do To Trees: first we hack them, and then we let them die. Here are a couple of what used to be Liquidambars in a local parking lot.
Can't two thousand years of Western Civilization do better than this?