If the Pasadena City Council were a tree, what kind of tree would it be?
Not a ficus or carrotwood. Not after what happened this week.
Despite a public profession of respect for the importance of trees, as expressed in the city's Tree Protection Ordinance, Pasadena officials have approved the removal of 43 mature trees in and around the downtown shopping areas along Colorado Boulevard.
Forget the importance of shade in Pasadena, where summer temperatures often push into the triple digits. And disregard that stuff the city published on its Web site about the "interest of the community and government to preserve and grow the urban forest." What matters in this case is that those trees were actually growing.
Odd as it may sound, the ficus and carrotwood trees planted by the city years ago have ... crazy, I know ... increased in size as the city has watered them. And, as a result of this reckless behavior by the trees, some damage was done to city sidewalks and sewers, not to mention the mess their seed pods have made.
So, by a 6-1 vote, the council approved spending $130,000 to remove these obtuse trees and replace them with about three times as many palms and ginkgos (yep, as in ginkgo biloba).
If LA Observed's reaction to the news is any indication, the new trees might not be popular either: "The ficus trees the city wants to remove are destructive — there's no arguing that — but fan palms?"
-- TJ Sullivan