Sunday, December 03, 2006

Palm Trees Should Remain In Los Angeles

One of the most distinctive features of Los Angeles is its wonderful palm trees, many rising 100 feet or more above the city's finest neighborhoods.

Now, some shortsighted people in city government are telling us those beautiful trees, some planted for the 1932 Olympics, are causing dangers and have become the nests of rats and other pests. They say that as old ones die out, they should be replaced by sycamores and other kinds of trees. Two weeks ago, the often-foolish Los Angeles City Council passed a motion to limit palm trees.

These are the same kind of people who tell us our newspapers, banks and telephone companies ought to be owned by Easterners.

I don't agree for a moment.

No matter what the cost, as palm trees die out, they should be replaced by new ones, to perpetuate the appearances which make Los Angeles a distinctive city.

Gregory Rodriguez has a column in this morning's Current section of the L.A. Times extolling palm trees and saying they remind us of exotic places, make the city more than it would be without them.

But Rodriguez suggests these trees allow us to pretend to be something we're not, some kind of Mediterranean country.

Well, California does have a Mediterranean climate. And it is worth noting that in the desert canyons near Palm Springs, palm trees grow naturally. They are native to Southern California. Palm trees also are among the trees in the beautiful State Capitol grounds in Sacramento, which the late Eleanor McClatchy had such a large role in developing and safeguarding.

Long may they live. Or at least longer than our City Council members hold office.



Blogger Tim McGarry said...

L.A without palms would be unrecognizable. I think the points about better shade and greater efficiency in carbon dioxide removal are valid and important, but would like to see a little room left for the iconic.

Best, Ken.


12/03/2006 9:10 PM  

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