Before: Ficus above pictured above in a 2011 Google Maps photo. After: The same spot pictured below after the tree was cut down.
A crew from the city’s Bureau of Street Services spent this morning cutting down an approximately 35-foot high ficus tree at the corner of Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, the most recent of the big trees to come down at the busy intersection. A second nearby ficus will be cut down on Sunday in preparation for sidewalk repairs and other bus stop improvements, said a member of the city’s Urban Forestry Division, which was supervising the tree removal. The Urban Forestry employee, who did not want his name published, said an arborist had determined that the pair of ficus would become to unstable once construction began of the new sidewalk and bus stop. While the ficus’ thick canopy shaded bus riders and vendors from the sun, their roots had cracked and buckled the sidewalk. It was not known if new trees would be planted in the same location next to the Walgreens parking lot, said the city worker.
“It would have been nice to leave the trees but you have got to think about public safety,” he said.