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Toppled Street Trees Lead to Long Waits for Replacement

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, May 01, 2009, at 09:00AM
Toppled Tree on Hope Ken C

A delivery truck toppled this street tree on Hope early Friday morning.

Early this morning, a delivery truck collided with a tree outside Library Bar at 6th and Hope, toppling the ficus into the street.

City crews were quickly on hand to clean up the mess and reopen the street to traffic, but past history shows that much less haste will be put into restoring Downtown's tree count.

On July 27, 2005, an unmanned Fedex delivery van rolled through the intersection of 5th and Grand, glancing off the wall of the Central Library before running over a street tree and coming to a stop on Grand. Almost four years later, the well that tree came out of remains empty.

On April 12, 2007, high winds felled a large ficus on 6th street between Grand and Hope. Over two years later, that planter too remains vacant.

A supervisor with the city's Urban Forestry Division said this morning that those sort of wait times for tree replantings aren't uncommon, noting that the team responsible for Downtown also has to cover territory from East L.A. to the Hollywood Hills.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa kicked off his Million Trees L.A. program in 2006, but a recent L.A. Weekly story said the program had planted less than 200,000 trees in the time since. Perhaps Downtown's empty tree wells could provide a little padding for that count?

Urban Forestry encouraged Downtowners who note empty tree wells to submit a service request to 800-996-CITY (2489). Sometimes all replacement takes is the right request showing up at the right time.

Thanks to reader Ken C for noting the toppled tree and providing the top-down photos.

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