Justice's Rule of Incongruity *: the different one was a mistake Douglas Justice, on the April 9 UBC Tree Talk and Walk, showed us a group of 'Shirotae' with a single 'Shirofugen' among them. Douglas rejected my benefit-of-the-doubt defense that the planters wanted to have interest over a longer blooming period. Douglas was pretty sure that what was going on here was a pure and simple planting-by-alphabet mistake. The planters just reached a little too far to the left and picked up a 'Shirofugen' with the group. There's an obvious example of this incongruity rule at the Sutton Place Hotel on Burrard: six 'Shirotae' and one 'Ukon'. Maybe the same people did the group of 'Shirotae' and 'Shogetsu' at the Westin Bayshore Hotel. The really distressing example of that is at UBC: the beautiful row of 'Somei-yoshino' on Lower Mall. The replacements for trees removed have been 'Akebono', the assumption being that the original trees were that cultivar. You can see one of the young 'Akebono' in Martin Fon's photo. Well, we all make mistakes, but that's such a campus showcase, it seems criminal to not correct that one. Cutler's Corollary of Discontinuity: they're not necessarily all the same Maybe other people don't make the assumption that all the trees in a group are the same, but when I was a novice scout, my novice scout cohort-in-exploration and I often employed the rule that if there's two of the same thing, the third tree is another one of them. There is so often a group where only one of the group offers an accessible branch on which to get near the flowers! So we photograph that one, examine it, make some decision on cultivar and then apply it to the group. So wrong. We've seen it on Lower Mall, though I can't find the posting now, but it was "what's with this staminode on these 'Somei-yoshino'?" Well, that tree was the different one. In the 'Shirotae' planting mentioned above, the most accessible branch was on the one 'Ukon' at the end of the planting, but something just seemed wrong about that flower for what I knew was 'Shirotae'. ------------------- * [edited]I should add that I named this rule. Douglas or anyone else is welcome to come up with a better name.