• Saving LA’s Trees May Mean Saving Its Yards

    Most efforts to expand LA City’s tree canopy – and thus strengthen the urban environment – have focused on planting street trees. Yet the majority of the trees of America’s second largest city grow around its bungalows, cottages, mansions, and ramblers. It is in residential yards that about 80% of the city’s trees are located: more than 5 million in these private landscapes compared to about 700,000 street trees and 150,000 to 300,000 park trees. That’s one of the key findings from a recent report commissioned by City Plants, a nonprofit that works with city departments to plant public  trees. This is important because a study by USC scientists saw that most of…

  • The Replacement Tree Myth

    In response to cutting down trees for development and sidewalk repairs the City of Los Angeles has a policy of planting two trees for every one street tree cut down and four trees for every protected tree cut down. Planting trees is both good and essential in order to keep the urban forest healthy. But it is insufficient, in and of itself. This perception that planting two or more trees for every mature tree cut down replaces the mature tree, or perhaps even doubles it, is wrong. In fact, the City’s tree replacement policy may ironically create a smaller and less effective urban forest in the future. Planting a sapling only…