Who knew the pair of ficus trees at the southwest corner of Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard had so many fans? After the two trees were cut down over the weekend for safety reasons as workers began repairing the sidewalk and building a new bus stop, many residents complained to local officials, including Councilman Eric Garcetti, about the trees’ destruction and the lack of public notification. One person, Rebecca Dessertine, even used her Twitter account to claim that Garcetti was “murdering trees,” to which Garcetti, in a Tweet of his own, said:
My office did not request nor was it notified of the tree removal plans. A full explanation is coming.
Today, the Council District 13 spokesman emailed the full explanation:
Our office was not aware of the tree removal until after it occurred. The community was not informed, either – the BSS [Bureau of Street Services] tree removal policy requires a public posting of which trees will be removed and a public hearing only when three or more trees are removed from a given site.
Our office contacted BSS’ Urban Forestry Division when we became aware of the removal. At our urging, BSS is planting new trees in the immediate vicinity, and the sidewalk repairs and new bus shelter are being completed in the next several days.
Will this satisfy the fans of the ficus?