Echo Park ficus get whacked

Same trees pictured in August 2016

ECHO PARK —  An Eastsider reader called last week to spread the word about the cutting down of a trio of large ficus trees in the 1400 block of Temple Street.  Today, those trees remain standing but in a very, shall we say, truncated form.

It’s not clear if the crew that began cutting the trees, located in front of a windowless building that recently went up for lease, are going to return to finish the job.  The city requires that a permit be issued before street trees are cut down. But there’s no indication that has taken place, unlike a few blocks west where a hearing is pending for the removal of some other Temple Street ficus.

The cutting looks severe. But, if any tree could survive this kind of hacking, it would be a ficus.

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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  1. Good riddance. These trees are a detriment to walkable city design.

    • Sidewalks look perfect! What are you talking about?

      • Ficus trees, sure they’re perfect: unless you are pushing a stroller, or in a wheelchair, or using a walker or cane, or you are a crooked man walking a crooked mile. Other than that, Ficus’s trees are just peachy (wish they were peach trees at least they’d be useful and delicious).

        • Please, look at the GD photos, properly maintained ficus trees and perfect sidewalks. Much better than most areas without ficus, IMO.

  2. Terrible! They will probably plant some scrawny Ginko trees to replace these beautiful giants. Shame!

  3. Does anyone know who cut these down? The property owner? I wish the City of LA would enforce some of its laws, and fine companies that break them.

    Yes, ficus can create problems. But we need shade! That part of Temple gets a lot of foot traffic – and scrawny ginkgo trees don’t cut it.

  4. You really couldn’t see that beautiful building with the trees in the way…

  5. That Building Was A Laboratory for the State of California , Operated by the county Health Services , As For The Ficus Trees i I Remember When they planted them in 1967 . the roots did Buckle and Cracked The sidewalk around each tree in the years 1973-74-75 . Then during 1976 the y , I assume the State of Calif, had the concrete and the over grown Roots cut & leveled out then reset new concrete with a larger breathing space at the base of the trees.. Since the repairs were done no root Damage and the walk way still looks great. Building has been empty and for Sale since about a year & Half , maybe the New Owners had the trees cut

    • Thanks for this information. Just goes to show you that these trees, with care and attention, can be saved and still provide much needed shade and beauty. So sad. So wrong.

    • Sorry but the last pic clearly shows damage to the sidewalk. Unless of course the sideaalk is supposed to be at a weird angle and about 4 inches above the curb.

      • Yes, but unless one was planning to walk straight into the tree one would go to the left where the sidewalk appears just fine.

  6. Such a bummer!

  7. Oh my god! LA needs to regulate these fucking tree trimming comapnyies like yesterday! They killed them! Nothing will grow from those ever now!

    • They are not dead. As a matter of fact, they will be back to the way they were in 18 months. Ficus trees are extremely hearty. That and they are just about the worst tree to line streets with.

  8. Thanks for all the attention but we did obtain a permit to cut the trees.

    We are trying to better the neighborhood. These tress have not been pruned since the 80’s.

  9. I lived across the street from these trees. They were a wonderful shade and as a kid I always thought of them to be the old mighty trees where I would imagine building a huge tree house. The building is an eye sore now but hopefully a fresh paint will do the trick (*hope). I felt bad for the workers. They worked non-stop from sunrise to sunset and even into the night to cut the trees. I thought they were being trimmed because of the storms that were approaching but when my son took a picture of the trunks on Monday after school and sent it to me I was saddened that they left the bare trunks only. Oh and about the sidewalk, it hasn’t done any harm to it. Years ago before a light signal was on Douglas street the bus stop used to be there and people used to walk on that side of the sidewalk because their shade. That is where I would stand/sit waiting for the bus/dash and imagine. I loved hearing the birds chirping at times but I didn’t like it at 5:30 am..lol.

  10. Asset manager, perhaps you really did obtain a permit to cut the trees but even if you did you blatantly disregarded the Urban Forestry Division of the Bureau of Street Services stipulation that you hire a qualified Arborist who is certified by the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (I assume you didn’t because no Arborist would hack a tree like this), that no more than 25% of the foliage be removed, and very specifically that NO TOPPING CUTS SHALL BE MADE.

    These trees don’t belong to you. They belong to the citizens of Los Angles and you destroyed them.

    I will be reporting this violation to the Urban Forestry Division and I hope they fine the hell out of you.

    If anyone else is sick and tired of seeing OUR trees destroyed I encourage you to also call the Urban Forestry Division. Simply call 311 and the operators will be happy to connect you. I also encourage you to call your Councilmember to tell them about this specific incident and also tell them you want our street trees to get the care and protection that they deserve.

    • Boy, I’d kill to have your life. Most be great having all that spare time and outrage to get all lathered up over a few trimmed up trees. I shudder to think what you might do if one got chopped down – you may have to be sedated.

      • Trees are part of what make our city livable and walkable. Bicurious is right – they belong to the citizens of LA, and whoever “pruned” these ficus trees has no idea what they’re doing.

      • Hilarious!!! You gotta love how people deal with first world problems! *

        * For the record, I’m disappointed that these trees were butchered, but I’m pretty sure they will bounce back in 6-12 months. Hopefully, The Eastsider will post a follow-up, even though everyone will have moved on to some other catastrophe – maybe the color of a city installed bike rack, or the price of artisan fire wood.

  11. As some has already posted, these trees will be back to what it was previously in few months. As they grow back so quickly, you might as well do it sufficiently to reduce the cost of having chop at it too often. City has code for everything, but if you are paying for the maintenance, you will cut some corner to save cost. And before you rant from your soapbox, I have never met anyone who does not violate at least one city code a day. At least the owner obtained a permit. That’s probably more proactive than most else. Probably more so than those who are so indignant about this if they were in the same situation

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