As we move deeper into the era of construction for Measure R projects, we’re also going to be writing more about the inevitable work impacts of building transit and road projects.
And thus today’s news: about 135 trees — about 34 in Beverly Hills and 101 in the city of Los Angeles — will eventually have to be removed and later replaced along Wilshire Boulevard to accommodate work on the first phase of the Purple Line Extension subway.
Most of the trees to be removed are in the area where three new stations will be excavated: Wilshire and La Brea, Wilshire and Fairfax and Wilshire and La Cienega. Metro says it will plant two trees for every one that is removed.
The bulk of the tree removals are still about a year away and will be managed by the future contractor. However, in the next month or so, Metro is seeking to remove two Mexican fan palms from the median of Wilshire just east of Detroit (near the Wilshire/La Brea station site) for pre-construction work — specifically, fiber optic utility relocation. The agency has also submitted draft Master Tree Removal Plans to both Beverly Hills and Los Angeles and will work with both cities toward agreement on a final plan.
Of the trees to be removed, many are not in good shape and Metro officials say likely would not survive transplanting. None of the trees are protected, historically significant or belong to threatened species, although some of the Mexican fan palms to be removed are taller than 50 feet (Mexican Fan palms are a very common tree planted in cities in warm weather locales in the U.S.).
Crape myrtle trees and London plane trees are other common species to be removed. Perhaps the most popular tree to be removed are five jacarandas in the city of Los Angeles.
The bulk of the tree removals are still a ways away and will begin at La Brea in 2015 and then proceed in stages. However, Metro is currently seeking to remove two Mexican fan palms from the median of Wilshire just east of Detroit in order for advance utility relocation work to be done. The agency has also submitted draft Master Tree Removal Plans to both Beverly Hills and Los Angeles and will work with both cities toward agreement on a final plan.
Obviously no one likes to see urban trees lost. Urban greenery is important, particularly in a region so outfitted with concrete. If someone chopped down a tree in front of your house or apartment, you’d probably notice. That said, a little perspective here: there is an estimated 10 million trees in the city of Los Angeles alone, meaning the trees lost for this and other projects are overall a very small percentage of the trees in our region. All the species to be removed are also fairly common species in our urban forest.
The end result: Metro officials say they will be replanting twice as many trees in the area and that the area will have an improved, and beautified, urban landscape when construction is complete and the street is fully restored.
Below a pair of reports prepared by a contractor hired by Metro to inventory inventory the trees likely to be removed. The top report is for trees in Beverly Hills, the bottom for the trees in Los Angeles.