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Bureaucracy Slows Tree Trimming Project

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, November 13, 2008, at 01:14PM
IMGP5744.JPG Ed Fuentes

A contractor trims trees along 5th street on Tuesday morning.

Freshly trimmed trees on 5th street between Main and Spring should make a nice impression on gallery-goers attending Art Walk this evening. More would have been done, but yesterday the city's Bureau of Street Services put a kink in the Historic Downtown BID's trimming project, claiming the vendor lacked necessary permits.

Russell Brown, HDBID's Executive Director, spent much of Wednesday on the phone trying to figure out what had gone wrong. The vendor, who is city-licensed, has done countless jobs around Los Angeles. He told Brown that the street closure paperwork that Street Services was saying had been missed had never been required on previous jobs.

The city's urban forestry division typically handles tree trimmings, but limited funding means that cuts come nearly a decade apart. For fast-growing ficus trees, that means that the tree's crown quickly gets overgrown and creates dark sidewalks. When the trees are trimmed, nearly all grennery is cut off, leaving what look like dead trunks (though they grow back in six months or so).

Brown hopes to see the BID's project back up and running shortly.

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