SoCal Moms Poison Trees to Capture Fall Aesthetic

Written by: Lily Tholfsen and Isabelle Rupani

Miller shared with reporters: “I have an autumn complexion, so my yard needs one too!”
Photo by Jade Coniglio

A local Homeowner’s Association has mandated that every yard in their jurisdiction now maintain a “seasonal sensibility,” with stipulations for groundskeeping and home exteriors dependent on the time of year. The seasonal “Labor Day to Thanksgiving” requirements read: “Homeowners must curate a red and gold autumnal aesthetic for all trees, gardens, and lawns, disregarding any potential health risks to the surrounding flora and fauna.” The ordinance has led to a sudden surge in sales of herbicides at surrounding Home Depots as members of the HOA rush to poison their yards and achieve the “perfect fall look.”

In defense of the new bylaws, HOA Chair Ginnifer Maryanne McIntire explained, “East coast influencers have hogged the Instagrammable foliage of their natural habitat for long enough. Don’t the women of Southern California deserve to be a part of the nation’s hashtag ‘autumn vibes?'” Neighborhood mothers concur that the region’s perfect weather previously made it difficult to compete with out-of-state “Instamoms, MomTubers and Recipe Blog Moms during the last three months of the year.”

Mrs. Linda Lucy May Miller was spraying her palm trees with commercial grade weed killer as we spoke. “I just can’t believe this stuff is in the ground naturally everywhere else!” she exclaimed. “The leaves just fall right off in October, like clockwork. I could have so much more time to get ahead of winter apparel shopping, I can’t afford to be seen in last year’s T-shirts.”

“My trees are pretty much already dead,” commented HOA Treasury Secretary Deirdre Annemary Deveraux, who was sweating through her wool coat. “I’m going to have my husband take fall candids of me sipping cider under their remains, just like my sister-in-law in Connecticut. Then we’ll see what that smug bitch has to say about my children being deprived of the true holiday experience.”

Local teen Jujube Carlson is protesting the initiative, carrying a bold sign that reads “ACCEPT YOUR CLIMATE” and going door to door looking for support. “It’s insane,” she said. “When I heard what they were doing, I had our jet take me here straight from Princeton.” Carlson pointed to her T-shirt, which featured the recycling logo, saying, “I’m in Greenpeace, you know. Well, my boyfriend is. Well, my TA who sometimes flirts with me is. So yeah, I care a lot.”

“It doesn’t matter that our yards won’t grow back,” said self-described ingenue and experienced mother of three Helen Marylu Thompson in response to the backlash. “We’ll just replant them in the spring. How much could a tree cost? Two thousand dollars? That’s less than I paid for my daughter’s college admissions essays.”

Surrounding HOAs are scrambling to enforce similar rules in their own neighborhoods after McIntire’s most recent Instagram post of her, her two children and her Labradoodle playing in the dead leaves of her decaying front yard amassed over three hundred thousand likes.

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