14.28.030 - Maintenance—Public Works Department duties.
The Public Works Department will, except for watering and fertilizing, maintain, plant and remove all recommended trees planted along City streets. Trees planted along walks, lanes, or on City property, other than a public street right-of-way, will be maintained by the Public Works Department according to their classification, except that trees planted along alleys will not be maintained but will be removed when such trees are determined by the Director of Public Works to be a hazard or a public nuisance.
14.28.040 - Maintenance—Permission required.
No person shall perform any maintenance except for watering or fertilizing on any tree planted along a City street or on any other City property except under emergency conditions and upon the written approval of the Director of Public Works. A person determined by the Director to be qualified may perform such special maintenance on such trees as the Director may approve.
Put simply, the city will plant and “maintain” them, but will not water them to make sure they live. I imagine this is similar to other SoCal localities. Seems odd to me, but given it is what is it, I think we can do something about it.
The idea is simple: make a loosely organized community based volunteer association similar in idea to the "adopt a highway" program, but for trees.
Adopt a Tree
Adopters would learn about their adopted, and beyond just making sure it is watered appropriately, would also be able to identify any disease, dead branches, or other needed maintenance and alert the appropriate authority. I bet we have all seen the chop jobs done that leave a husk of the trunk behind, which is not good for anything. An organized approach by a group of informed tree advocates could make a difference with this.
Trees could be geotagged with a profile made, with relevant info about its age, species, etc. This might make them more personal and a part of the community if you could look up and learn about the tree you are admiring.
Properly mapping the existing trees in LA would help identify areas that are lacking, as well as help plan for and maintain a healthy diversity of native species, and yes, even palms where they are appropriate.
Anyway, toss out some ideas, we can discuss and see what sticks!
Given that this is an internet forum I feel the need to say again… keep it civil folks! Don’t throw shade, leave that to the trees!