• Outdoors Outdoors

Photo of unusual urban landscaping choice sparks outrage: 'The design leaves much to be desired'

"Ah yes, trees."

"Ah yes, trees."

Photo Credit: iStock

It seems like nature is frequently taking a back seat to urban planning. It's a dangerous trend when considering the needs of our planet. 

A picture posted three years ago to the subreddit community r/UrbanHell, which shares photographs displaying the downsides of modern development, had people shaking their heads.

"Ah yes, trees."
Photo Credit: Reddit

The photo captured a cartoonish row of plastic "trees" lined along the median of a four-lane highway. 

"Ah yes, trees," the caption declared with seeming disdain.

"This gives me The Lorax vibes," another Redditor commented.

The fake trees in the photo are disturbingly ominous, conjuring dystopian images of a world made of plastic.  

Trees are vital to life on Earth. Symbolic of strength, growth, and interconnectivity, these majestic plants are some of the oldest living organisms on our planet.

National Geographic reported that the livelihoods of more than 1.5 billion people rely on trees — roughly 20% of the global population.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, providing oxygen for all of us. Trees also improve air and water quality and preserve soil

They also provide shelter for humans and wildlife, along with other resources such as wood, paper, and food.

The photo appears to have been taken in the United Arab Emirates, which has a desert climate, but the decorations seemed like a lost opportunity to practice native landscaping.

Native plants can adapt to local temperatures and soil, with some plants thriving in high temperatures and requiring very little water. They need less water, fertilizer, and pesticides to begin with. 

Native plants also support local wildlife, including endangered species — like the monarch butterfly in the United States — and pollinators like bees.

Since the upkeep is significantly less, a rewilded yard is a money-saving and environmentally savvy choice. 

The world needs real, native plants

"The design leaves much to be desired," another Redditor wrote. "Something Dr. Seuss dreamed up."

"Urban blight," another said

"The conifer of sadness," a third user mused with devastating accuracy.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider