City moves to give Temple Street ficus trees the axe

ECHO PARK — The former Temple Street home of the Derby Dolls roller derby league is gone, demolished to make way for a huge new apartment complex. Now, a row of towering ficus trees in front of the now vacant parcel is also likely to disappear from the landscape. Resident Oliver Wilson spotted notices to remove the three ficus trees, also known as Indian Laurel Figs, and a queen palm. The Board of Public Works will have to weigh in on the matter at a yet-to-be-scheduled public hearing.

The public notice says the trees, which shade most of the block between Westlake Avenue and Bonnie Brae Street, are to be removed for street widening. It’s not clear if that’s related to the development of a 200-unit apartment complex on the block.

The sturdy ficus have a reputation for roots that tear up and buckle sidewalks. But proposals to cut down ficus in Echo Park and elsewhere often meet with some opposition.

The trees on Temple will be replaced, according to permit info, but Wilson is still opposed.

“To me trees are what help make LA walkable,” he said in an email.”This is going the wrong direction in my opinion.”

Courtesy Oliver Wilson

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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  1. It’s always amazing to me how Pasadena is able to keep their lovely Ficus trees on Green growing and providing shade while we tend to just chop them down. Ridiculous!

  2. Why on earth are they widening the street to begin with?

    Traffic on Temple already flows at very dangerous speeds (rush hour notwithstanding.) There’s been several high profile collisions in recent years involving children. So naturally, the city’s response is to make it even easier for impatient commuters to plow through densely populated neighborhoods at highway speeds?

    Our priorities in this city are so backwards it makes my head spin…


  3. and this is why Echo Park has the seedy reputation it has. Developers have become too eager to tear down anything.Trees are living organisms. Why can no on one find a way to incorporate them into the grand design? Trees provide us with a natural beauty, shade and a lovely appeal to tourists. These neighborhoods in question are residential, trees are elemental to living spaces. What moron decided tearing down mother nature was an option? Have we not had enough of this? Leave them alone!

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