The tale of the Echo Park pink tree

The Eastsider recently posted a slide show of the chitalpa trees planted on Sunset Boulevard that have been subjected to all sorts of indignities, including the one pictured above that had been painted pink. Earlier this week, an Echo Park resident noticed that the pink tree was gone and replaced with a new tree. Eliza Frye, owner of the gallery and shop located behind the missing chitalpa, said she does not know who replaced the pink tree but knows who painted it. She did. “It was whimsical and beautiful and great for advertising,” Frye said in an email. “I fell in love with the pink tree. And then one day it was gone.” Click on the link below to read a full version of Frye’s hate-love relationship with the pink tree.

“It’s an interesting thing, the pink tree. I’ve had the gallery and studio space behind it for about a year. At first I hated that tree. It pretty much blocked my entire storefront, obscuring the sign and the window from passing traffic, and I routinely hit my head on it coming out of my car. I thought about cutting it down myself many times, but then one day while drinking lemonade I thought no, make friends with the tree. Make it the best thing that ever happened to you. So I painted it pink, with the branches fading to red and eventually black as they got smaller. It was whimsical and beautiful and great for advertising. I fell in love with the pink tree.

And then one day it was gone. I wasn’t there to witness the carnage, but the hairdresser next door said that he saw a truck from the city come by last Tuesday with a giant crane arm. Pulled the tree right out of the ground and just continued driving. Less trouble than a tow truck. I took some photos of the leftover hole and surrounding bits of pink bark.

This morning I found a brand new baby tree in it’s place. I assume this is also the city’s handiwork, but I don’t know for sure. I also don’t know how I feel yet about this new baby tree, this not pink replacement.”

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