Farewell, Echo Park ficus

Echo Park, trees

Giant Echo Park ficus pictured in August 2013

Ficus on Sunday afternoon

Echo park

Sawdust by Sunday night

ECHO PARK — The giant ficus that loomed over the 1500 block of Sunset Boulevard was chopped down on Easter Sunday as part of a street and sidewalk improvement project.  The tree was one of three dozen that will be cut down and replaced by 100 new trees. The new trees will be more sidewalk friendly but it is unlikely that they will ever match the size or the grandeur of the overgrown Green Giant, which rose about 40 feet into the air and stretched out half way across Sunset Boulevard near Laveta Terace.

While the Green Giant is gone, fans of the ficus can drink up in honor of the fallen tree at Sunset Beer, the beer shop and tasting room located across the street from where the tree once stood.  The silhouette of the tree now serves as the shop’s logo on the side of beer glasses.


  1. Oof. Too bad they didn’t take the building behind it down, too.

  2. The two Ficus they cut down on Echo Park Ave. at Sunset were replaced with two young trees that are both dead now. I understand the need to cut down these invasive trees, but the city MUST replace them with trees that are watered and tended to!!!

  3. leave it to the brilliant LA City Official who originally proposed these trees to be planted many years ago and not do their homework on how it would affect our future.

  4. What a shame. Full sun exposure and blighted building/hillside. Ugh.
    How many years will it take for the 100 new trees to provide shade?

    • Several decades. The area will be horribly barren for several decades because of this plan.

      And mind you, the city bans the fan palms along streets now. But they have roots that grow straight down so do little to nothing to sidewalks. The city allows ficus trees and other such trees that ruin sidewalks. This ban on the fan palms was adopted about or so years ago. Yes, complete lack of any idea what they are doing. Amateur city council members thinking they know what’s best but who really have no clue what they are doing – yet paid about $180,000 a year, the highest of any city councilmembers anywhere int he country.

      • Have you ever parked a car or even better STOOD under a fan palm tree in one of our very prevalent wind storms? Those fronds are like missiles!

        Of course I’ll concede that the proper solution would be to properly maintain the trees vs an all-out ban, but that would take money and smart coordination. Two thing this city doesn’t have.

  5. I also ask, who cut this down? It wasn’t city workers who cut it down on a Sunday, especially Easter Sunday! What private person went in on a day no one could possibly file a complaint to stop it and cut this thing down? This is like going in under cover of darkness to sneak soemthing through. Did they even have a permit to cut it down? The workers the city would have to follow through on that plan would not be out there on Easter Sunday.

  6. I know Ficus tear up the sidewalks and streets with their ever expanding roots, but, they are the coolest tree!!!!

  7. Score one for the concrete jungle!

  8. Meanwhile Super Home Mart’s business rose 1000% on Monday.

  9. The city should plant new trees in sidewalk bulbouts, so if/when the roots get crazy. there’s more room to work with.

    And I agree with @Mark, why are we paying our council members 6 figure salaries when they can’t even handle the most basic of city services, like planting trees and maintaining sidewalks?

  10. Suzanne O'Keeffe

    THIS SHOULD BE AGAINST THE LAW!! Why didn’t anyone stop the clueless people who decided to do this??? That tree is far more majestic than any sidewalk or building anywhere in los angeles. Trees are important anchors of a community — they’ve been here far longer than the people. This makes my heart ACHE. Sheesh, LA has a LOT to learn from other communities. In Chicago, where I used to live, trees were treasured. It makes a huge difference in the feeling in a community when older trees are taken care of, respected, and nurtured. https://cityofevanston.org/forestry/

  11. the people responsible for this horrible situation are the citizens of echo park… nobody is doing anything about it! i contacted field deputy adam bass [ who basicaly did not beleive me], emailed cd 13 , tried working with tree people { they are just as bad as city of la } have been working really hard with urban forestry who lied to me also! as katrina said the two trees on echo park that were taken out at the bus stop , should’ve never been taken out! period! now people who wait for buses have no shade. but they are mostly low income or young people and nobody cares about them. montana ave in santa monica -they removed the side walk and cut the roots- did that to over 100 trees and a lot more everywhere. thats what they do in affluent neighborhoods. now, the four trees in front of walgreens are butchered . i warned adam about this also but was put down! two are somewhat passable but two are not. i feel like the lone ranger on this. any consulting (better educated) arborist would agree with me. if those trees die cd 13 would be financially responsible . there are tree laws. you cannot destroy the integrity of a tree. if you do you have to pay three times the retail value of the tree. those trees are worth 25,000 dollars,so thats 75,000. just like lapd cannot shoot 150 bullets into a car [ the two women got 2.8 million] urban forestry cannot butcher trees and top them. On Sunset Blvd from the Beverly Hills Hotel all the way to the Sunset Strip, there are many, many large, beautiful, shady, ficus trees that are trimmed absolutely beautifully. The sidewalk is intact. There is a way to maintain old trees and fix the sidewalk. So it’s a win-win: the city can relax about liability concerns if a tree falls, and the community enjoys the beauty and shade of the trees. also Hancock Park the trees are done correctly… we in echo park get the hood trim job!

  12. Tony. Thanks for the heads up. I needed your point of view. Keep it up. I am getting on it too.

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