This week the multi-layered editors at the NDN had their way with my column. In the interest of full disclosure then, here's the original text. As usual you can click on the PDF at the left to download the version as it appeared in the paper. And the paper has my column online, too., although it's the sullied version…
I started looking into Black Olive ‘Shady Lady’ pavement staining because I needed to complete a glossary entry in my book. Then, a longtime Pelican Marsh client witnessed heavy staining and much leaf drop from Shady Lady earlier this year.
Many residents said: “We can't take it! Cut them down!”
It's easy to see the frustration.
The lovely and excellent Black Olive is popular for many reasons. It is one of three major street trees in southern Florida (the other two being Live Oak and Mahogany), as I mentioned last month. Black Olive is a very clean, desirable tropical tree with a lovely fine texture. Leaf litter is easy to handle, and the tree is essentially disease-free–with two major exceptions.
The smaller and most popular ‘Shady Lady’ variety reaches about 35x35 when mature. The much larger Black Olive, without the varietal name, is often called ‘the species’ in conversation. Black Olive is adorably called ‘Oxhorn Bucida’ by Doug Caldwell of the Extension Office. Those wacky scientists!
Oh. And this: Shady Lady does not stain pavement.
“But! But! I can prove it! I have stains!”
Well, of course you do.