Once again I'm running late, so I'll just summarize a few issues.

I'm perplexed as well as offended by the virtual destruction of the Ficus tree mentioned last week. It was a beautiful, 50-foot, 100-year-old aviary for hundreds of birds of different varieties, providing much shade for two sidewalks and our office building, now reduced to a 15-foot, stump display with no remaining limbs, paid for with school district money.

For decades teachers gathered their children under the shade of this tree for special outside classes.

I can't avoid seeing this latest monstrosity every day; it makes me wonder why this was done. Even the tree surgeon told me that cutting that much away from the tree could kill it, and wondered why it was done. The same complaint was raised two years ago or so. I have concluded there are three optional answers to this enigma - gross ignorance, stupidity, or some mysterious malicious intent.

Of course, only a liberal would do such a thing. Maybe that person was seeking to reduce the school district's carbon footprint? Then there's always climatic hysteria, cutting it down would certainly reduce its process of photosynthesis, you know, making it almost impossible to produce oxygen. In this way the miscreant might become a hero among climate-change fanatics.

Now I worry about the health of the great Oak next to the Ficus.

Well, in my opinion the culprit must be some kind of loosely-defined malicious Ficus hater.

Whoever did it - get help - from a knowledgeable horticulturist.

Ficus microcarpa nitida Standard (F. retusa)

Indian Laurel Fig Standard “This tropical looking shade tree is excellent as a street or lawn tree in frost-free areas. The weeping canopy of long, dropping branches are thickly covered with elliptic green leaves."