Photographer documents replanting of old rural trees in Chinese cities

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i’ve witnessed the appalling death count on transplanted trees. the industrial level of ignorance by the planters is stunning. in someplaces 80% were dead within a couple of years. most often from ‘baking’ being planted inside tiny circles of earth in sidewalks or parking lots getting full sun. they were cooked to death. phenomenally campuses seem to be the worst but then that is where I was working. no one pays attention, no one is in charge, there is no ‘plan’ just action. cheers.


Though the non-human life that depended on these trees was not considered, is this a rich over poor, urban dweller privileged over rural citizen thing? Just seems odd that what could be the pride of a local area gets trucked into the city to live an abbreviated, literally truncated life and die an early death. (Which right there can be a kind of anti-urban metaphor; also, why the f would they hack off all those branches/that foliage?)

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There’s a term in Chinese for this pervasive attitude: cha bu duo (差不多), which basically means “good enough.” Half-assed workmanship is rampant. There was recently a structural collapse of some poured concrete that revealed the contractor had thrown a lot of plastic garbage in during the pour so he could save money on concrete.

On the other hand, they executed two business executives who killed six babies and injured 54,000 by cutting their company’s powdered milk with an adulterant called melamine. So there is a limit to how half-assed you can be.


I like to think of cha bu duo and the general public disinterest in community as the fruits of the Cultural Revolution. What happens when you criminalize the values that form the foundation of your society? You get modern day China. A society that builds, but doesn’t maintain. Where people flee from the scene of an accident for fear of being sued. Where there’s no pride in a job well done. And if some shit happens because of the poor quality work that got turned out, 沒辦法 (nothing to be done about it)!

Spawning a massive industry in smuggling milk powder from foreign countries into China.


All i knew about melamine was that you shouldn’t put plates made of it in the microwave.

Melamine is sometimes illegally added to food products in order to increase the apparent protein content. Standard tests, such as the Kjeldahl and Dumas tests, estimate protein levels by measuring the nitrogen content, so they can be misled by adding nitrogen-rich compounds such as melamine. An instrument (SPRINT) developed by the company CEM Corp allows the determination of protein content directly in some applications; the instrument cannot be fooled by adding melamine in the sample.[12][13]

why even 1%, it’s not nutritious? people can be hateful.

Melanine is cheaper than edible protein powder, so you get greatly increased profit margins.So what if you poison a few tens of thousands of babies in the process?

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Everything is connected to everything else, but it seems a bit hard to blame this massive explosion of cities on a movement that ran from 1966 to 1976, and was against urbanization and for ‘traditional values’ whatever that means. I thought this was much more clearly a consequence of first-growth “hey, I can do anything as long is it makes enough money” capitalism.

It will all calm down, I hope. They have got to grips with their carbon emissions, and the air is getting cleaner.

This photo is maybe the opposite of inspiring…


Given the rmassive urban development happening in China, the transplanted old-growth trees might well come from areas that are being cleared for development. If so, the ecosystem to which the trees belong is being destroyed anyway and the trees would simply be chopped down if no-one wanted to transplant them.

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