Sunday, May 31, 2009

When Trees Grow in Bad Places - Part II

I hate waking to the sound of chainsaws.

I'm not the only one with a huge ficus tree in front of my house. A home at the end of my block had four city-planted ficus trees. Only two are visible in this picture -

Each was as huge as mine. But these trees were worse. These trees were breaking up the sidewalk.

It's one of the true mysteries of Man and Government that the City of Los Angeles planted so many ficus trees all over the city. While it's undeniable that the trees grow quickly and the mature trees provide abundant shade, the ficus root systems are notoriously hard on sidewalks, breaking through concrete, creating unsightly hazards with considerable cost to repair.

Additionally, they require frequent pruning or their branches interfere with power lines and obstruct visibility to street signs and traffic lights.

Like many things of great beauty, the ficus trees are a high maintenance luxury.

We knew the end was near when we saw the signs pasted on the trees -
Work was begun on cutting through the roots. The trees appeared to be doomed.

According to the sign, they'll be replaced. But these trees are enormous. I doubt if the replacement trees will ever provide the shade these trees give.
I'm sad for the people who live in that house. They'll be left completely unshaded. I'm sad for the rest of us on the street. That house is no beauty. It's rundown, in disrepair. It might even be described as urban blight.

Without the trees, there'll be no hiding from the truth.

The chainsaw massacre began Saturday morning when the crew arrived -

Today this is all that's left -

And the house is completely exposed -

I just hope she isn't looking for her nest -


Jenni said...

I guess they plant ficus for job security. Plant, cut, repair sidewalks. Spend tax dollars.

I too hope the bird was not looking for her nest.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a ten year waiting list to get a parkway tree trimmed in the Los Angeles