Without a shadow of a doubt, a large mature tree with a near perfect form is high in visual amenity value. Quintessential in every manner of the word, one cannot deny that sense of awe we get when gazing upon such an ideal tree. However, sometimes we can also come across trees with (potentially significant) damage that are also very interesting upon the eye, and perhaps even more visually attractive, though in a different sense, when compared to a tree of the same species that has more of an ‘expected’ (read: textbook) form.
Take, in this case, the example below. I stumbled upon this willow (Salix sp.) yesterday in an urban park, and I was actually rather captivated. Granted, for some it may just be an ugly tree that has lost two third of its crown following high winds, but for me it signals something far more interesting (and not really in a way that I can describe – it’s just so different). In fact, I would rank it as more valuable (in the amenity sense) than a willow without such architectural damage, and the loss of this tree, or just the windthrown parts, would be a huge shame.
So, in order for you to ascertain whether I do have a point, or am simply going mad, I have attached a few images below.