August 10, 2015 – This is an update on a prior communication regarding the trees in the upper Vermont and Hillhurst medians.
The Recreation and Parks Department discontinued watering the Vermont and Hillhurst medians north of Los Feliz Boulevard several weeks ago. A state mandated drought measure invoked by Governor Brown requires that all municipalities must discontinue watering public medians. For those of you that are LFIA members and on our e-blast list, we alerted you regarding this last week.
However, we have recently discovered that an agent was sprayed on the median lawn to expedite its demise. We are not happy about this and were NOT consulted.
On Friday, the Rec and Parks department discovered that one of the median coral trees had a structural crack, deemed it a public safety matter and removed the tree. Further communication from the department forester is that some of the other trees, including the varietals, are also at risk and an assessment is in progress. We will pass along the results of that assessment as the department sends it to us.
The LFIA will also be considering whether to hire an arborist to give us a second opinion, should the department report that other large median coral and varietal trees require removal. And, we are making a recommendation to Councilman Ryu that he requests the city Urban Forestry Division examine the trees and render a second opinion.
As a point of clarification, the Moreton Bay Fig trees, which are planted in the parkways on both sides of upper Vermont are, as many of you know, are historic cultural monuments, and therefore, have another layer of protection.
In the meantime, the Rec and Parks department has begun removing the median grass; the upper part of Vermont has been mulched and a new irrigation system installed. We have been told that process will continue until the entire Hillhurst and Vermont medians are clear of lawn and mulched as an alternative. We have also been told and reassured that the department is hand/truck watering the median trees in the meantime.
We will keep you updated on any new developments. And, we all are hopeful that these old historic trees survive until winter and that we get rain this year!