Alamitos Beach, Bluff Heights, Rose Park, the Craftsman Historic District and North Alamitos Beach have wonderful canopies of heritage trees along the streets. Long Beach is famous for its Jacaranda Trees on Petaluma Street. Just as famous are the Ficus Trees that cover Appleton St and Winnepeg.
The 2nd District Councilwoman would remove all these mature trees on the advice of their “experts” without even talking to the neighborhoods. Sometimes taking the word of City staff just isn’t enough. You need to research things to find better solutions. The thought of the department was that Ficus trees have invasive roots, therefore they all must go.
I find it most interesting that with almost every department citizens who do research and delve deep come up with more creative more appropriate solutions. Since we no longer outreach or honor citizen inclusion we are stuck with a top-down management one style solution system. Well, although ficus trees do have invasive root systems it is not the whole story. People in Honolulu, members of the Outdoor Circle, (a group dedicated to preserving the heritage trees of the Islands) discovered that Banyans and their relatives, Ficus trees actually are manageable. In a great stand off with Alexander and Baldwin at the Manoa Market place, an arborist was hired to mitigate the problem. Cutting straight down with a huge power saw around the base of the large canopy trees, then placing metal sheets in the slots and back filling with sand, created a no grow space for ficus roots. Using a decorated berm, they created tree islands within the layout of the parking lot. All the mature shade trees were saved, and the community was healed. We knew this decades ago and can see the vertical cuts of the roots along our sidewalks. Have we all forgotten our history?
Just recently without notice to anyone in the neighborhoods, three heritage trees were removed almost overnight by the City in Carroll Park. Needless to say, the residents were not happy. Without the least semblance of discussion or outreach, the City just mowed them down. Citizens at the neighborhood meeting were upset. Jeannine Pearce said she might plant one tree there to replace the three but it would cost $20,000. I guess she hasn’t been here long enough to remember our neighbors planting trees themselves along Broadway and adjacent streets with the small $3000.00 grants we got for the tree stock. Out of touch comes from not responding to calls and concerns. We can do better to protect our community.
When asked about Ficus Trees Jeannine Pearce’s answer was an adamant, “Those trees are horrible”.
With the coming climate change that the City is speaking about all over the neighborhoods, it makes little sense to cut down shade trees prior to the heat waves which the City says will be the major threat of climate change in the near future. Already this year, the heat will break records in Long Beach. Cutting down the Ficus Canopies on Appleton will raise the temperatures at least by significant degrees.
We must prevent the wholesale destruction of our urban forest NOW. I promise to make tree preservation a top priority of the 2nd District Office. No tree will fall without my prior knowledge and yours.