Starve the lawn, not the tree

Well-intentioned reductions in lawn irrigation to conserve water can have catastrophic consequences for LA's urban canopy. The Urban Forestry Council and Barbara Eisenstein have the 411 for progressive tree care.

In the aftermath of a storm

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is selling sculpture made from trees lost in the November 2011 hurricane to benefit a replanting fund.

The Dry Garden: Engineered to fail

As the days of Occupy LA’s tenancy around City Hall Park became numbered last month, I wrote in the op-ed pages of this paper that the city should seize the opportunity to replace the trashed lawn with a model garden demonstrating state of the art storm water capture and drought tolerant planting. The Mar Vista Community Council immediately began a campaign to support it. The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, California Native Plant Society and Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants each wrote the Department of Recreation and Parks calling for the city to seize the opportunity. But the most forceful argument came in the one-two punch of the November 30 windstorm swiftly followed by this week’s rain.

Click here to keep reading in The Dry Garden column in the Los Angeles Times about why floods follow winter windstorms and what this has to do with trees.

The Dry Garden: After the storm

After the storm, we have no coroners, no priests for big trees. There will no autopsies, no last rites for the shredded jacaranda and more than 50 damaged trees at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia, the fallen oaks of Fair Oaks Avenue or mangled magnolia trees of Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena. Ceremony, if it can be called that, will involve gas-fired buzz saws and insurance adjusters.

So how do we mark what happened? For that matter, what did happen? And what, ultimately, will we make of the night the trees fell?

Click here to keep reading in the Los Angeles Times about the massive tree losses across the Los Angeles foothills during record winds last Wednesday night.

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    Emily Green by e-mail at emily.green [at] mac.com
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