Signs of Elysian Park trees in trouble

Doomed Elysian Park forest | Jeanne Wyshak

A bright orange “X” has popped up on trees in Elysian Park that are destined to be cut down after they have died or have been weakened as a result of drought and bugs. Jeanne Wyshak came across the “X”s on a recent walk through the western edge of the park that borders Elysian Heights and Echo Park. “I couldn’t bring myself to count the number of marked trees,” said Wyshak.

A member of the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving the park, said about 10 trees will be cut down, according to early estimates. Some of the trees, which appear to be primarily pines, are dead and some show signs of being damaged inflicted by drought and the bark beetle.

Photo by Jeanne Wyshak

Photo by Jeanne Wyshak


  1. Aw no, that’s going to take out a mini forest that’s been there for decades…..but they do look at end of the line…sorry to see them go.

  2. Very sad to see these trees die. Do we know if they will be replaced and if so, how many trees will be planted in their place?

  3. That is some Ferngully shit.

  4. That side of Elysian Park is becoming increasingly brown and bare…are they going to be planting new trees?

  5. Is this related to the park’s water system being in disrepair?

    • …seems lots of ‘watering systems’ are currently outofservice — our freeways used to gardens on the sides, ivy, trees, hedges and some flowers — these days you may have noticed how thrashed and trashed they are.

      And the lovely sycamores on the 101 from Downtown thru Silver Lake…..looking shabby.

  6. let’s hope that they wait to replace those trees. Planting trees that will fend for themselves for water during one of the driest rain seasons in ages is probably a bad idea.

  7. It would be nice if they could do the same for the little park above Lillac St (off of Douglas). There are quite a few dead trees at the top of the park…not to mention the downed trees from the 2011 windstorm that were never removed.

  8. I knew this would happen, I been saying for years now we should use a fire hose to water the plants, there is a hydrant very close to where those trees are, it would be easy to water them some. I have lived near those trees for 20 years and they were fine until a couple years ago. they should let em be if they are not dead, which I know most of them are not, that part of the park will be barren and ugly if they chop them down.

  9. The drought may be part of the problem. I think a lot of trees that never needed watering other than the small amount of normal annual rainfall in LA are now suffering from no water and are probably more susceptible to disease. In my vegetable garden, several of the raised beds have been completely invaded, in the past two years, by roots from nearby trees. The beds get watered regularly, the trees I’ve never bothered with as they are old and established. Now I have to water the trees and submerge root barriers in my vegetable beds. This should be a worry for all of us, since we can’t water all the trees in the Park and elsewhere, and if it gets bad enough that water is rationed in LA, we won’t be watering anything.

  10. Drought, low rainfall, is indeed the problem — w/o water even older, estab’d trees will weaken, and get invaded by bark beetles or other pest/disease, and like people they will succumb. Am very sorry to see these go, loved walking that trail, feeling like I was not anywhere near downtown LA.

    If we are in for a long dry cycle, we are the Anasazi. Lawns will disappear, and even hardy plants like ubiquitous jade plants will die, or be eaten by gophers first. I have seen a lot of trees and older shrubs near where I live in Elysian Hts. already die.

    Start t’ dancin’, call for low pressure and Pacific storms, or we will indeed be the Anasazi.

  11. Unfortunately, most of the tree losses now taking place in the area are the result of the long term drought. The ground is so dry and groundwater so lacking that trees which cannot self-prune by dropping large limbs on their own (as eucalyptis do) eventually die of thirst.

    Until the rains return, planting trees as replacements will only result in their deaths if inadequate moisture is present. A perfect example is the new Sunnynook park by the LA River (just south of Glendale Ave.) where much of the newly planted flora is dying or has died for lack of water.

    This is happening in almost all city parks (except golf courses which are irrigated) because watering schedules have been cut back so that more housing permits can be issued to bring MORE people into the area.

    It’s nuts!

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