It's a characteristic of French gardens that they tend to be very manicured, in contrast to the traditional English garden where plants are left freer to express their natural shapes. The difference applies also to municipal plantings, roadside decoration and the like.
Last week there was an enormous crashing and crunching sound coming from the other side of the valley, and I went to take a look. The local council workers were pruning the trees; the noise was coming from the chainsaws and the wood shredder.
The result, once the trees grow out, is not unattractive, but I can't help feeling they look a bit stunted right now.