Reader mail: Weeds on campus

Reader mail:  Weeds on campus

Mick Goode

Tutor: Writing Center

For those of you who are OCD-ing over everything else here, I wanted to point out that you missed an obvious one.

There is an over abundance of weeds on the campus.

Just your garden variety weed - Photo by Cody Kimball

Just your garden variety weed - Photo by Cody Kimball

Let me explain. Firstly, the definition of the term weed is in order. A weed: any plant that grows where you wish it didn’t. That is put as simply I can. If you see a rose growing in a garbage heap, it is, by definition, a weed. That may seem extreme to a city dweller, but to the country folk who had to run fence lines, & plow up acreage, its common sense. You might replant it elsewhere and it is a beautiful flower; in the middle of a pea patch, it is a weed.

The reason for pointing this out is that one of the biggest weeds known to man infests the SC4 campus, and it seems to have been done deliberately. The plant in question has many names, but they are known as Chinese Tallow Trees, or as they are called back home, chicken trees. They are an ornamental plant with triangular leaves and little green balls. I will admit that they are nice to look at, but they do have an intrusive root system. Once the diabolic things take root, they sprout up everywhere, and are impossible to get rid of. The only practical use they have is if you keep bees. The honey is sweeter with the chicken tree pollen than with most other trees. Being that most people don’t have an apiary in their back yard and there are none upon the campus, those weeds have no purpose here.

Of all the strange things I’ve seen the natives do here, there have been a very few I haven’t let slide as cultural bias. This however, isn’t one of them. This is pure idiocy, but I have better chance of talking to the sundial than explaining this to the crowd who pulled a reverse Joni Mitchell, then left the parking area still in disarray. I generally try to only kvetch about one subject a year, but this is a rant that has been going on for the past 40+ years. This doesn’t count as my yearly hum-buggery, as it is an ongoing rant. All I will warn you with is that if you get stung or bit by any insect around those trees, don’t cry to me. You have been warned, so I am in the clear.

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