Help Protect Local Trees

The parkway trees on Monument Street have staples, which is illegal according to city code.

Staples in Caruso’s Parkway Trees Illegal

A reader wrote Circling the News on October 28 and asked, “Have you seen all the staples in the trees around the Caruso project? I feel so sorry for the trees.”

I walked over to Caruso’s Palisades Village and looked at the parkway trees on Swarthmore, Sunset Boulevard and Monument Street, which indeed had holiday lights stapled to their branches.

CTN contacted Lindsey Craft of Craft Landscape and Arbor, Inc., and shared a photo. I asked, “Is this harmful to the tree?”

He replied by email (on October 29), “This is an example of the ‘evils men do.’ Ridiculous. Whoever installed lights is ignorant and I want to say stupid.”

CTW asked how it hurts the trees. “The tree tends to grow bulbous around wounds and staples,” he said. “It is not appropriate for anyone to approach a tree like that. Wounds are entry points for disease and compromise trees.”

“It is one of the worst examples of complete disregard for a tree,” Craft said. “Whoever did that should be called out! That is the worst install of lights I’ve ever seen.”

He then asked where the install was located and was told Pacific Palisades.

CTN contacted Brentwood resident Libby Motika, who is a master gardener, and local resident David Card, a professional landscaper and a member of the Potrero Canyon Park advisory committee.

“I do know that staples or anything that penetrates the bark opens the tree to infection, and ultimately if its deep enough to withering,” Motika said. “Think of the bark like our skin.”

Card wrote in an October 29 email, “There is a city ordinance for trees on public property or in public spaces, like parkway trees. The one [LA Municipal Code] attached was used recently to persuade a candidate to remove campaign signs nailed or screwed to parkway trees.”

The ordinance Card references is in Section 28.04(a): “No person shall paint, mark or write on, or post or otherwise affix, any hand-bill or sign to or upon any sidewalk, cross walk, curb, curbstone, street lamp post, hydrant, tree shrub, tree stake or guard. . ..”

We called the L.A.  City Forestry division on October 30 and again on November 8.

City Inspector Kieran Au wrote in a November 8 email to CTN, “The City does not permit putting staple or nails into trees. A notice of Violation will be issued to Caruso to rectify the violation.”

Au explained that the notice would be mailed to Caruso via USPS mail and that he would follow up next week.

If Caruso does not comply, an administrative citation will be issued and filed with the City Attorney’s office for enforcement. Then it will be up to the City Attorney’s office, because “It’s officially out of hands by then,” Au said on November 9.

Parkway trees on Swarthmore received staples, which is illegal, according to LA City Municipal Code.

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6 Responses to Help Protect Local Trees

  1. Shaking my head in disbelief that anyone would do such a thing!

  2. Jim Conlon says:

    While the trees endure the staple intrusions, they can enjoy the music from the illegal speakers on the public parkway

  3. Donna Vaccarino says:

    Is there no end to the lack of dignity?

  4. Jim McCashin II says:

    FYI, Lindsey Craft is a gentleman, not a lady.

  5. Barbara Marinacci says:

    Ghastly photos! Your admirable tree-defending informer and other shocked tree protectors might consider joining Palisades Beautiful to help with new efforts to identify street trees’ numerous problems within this community … then try to find ways to solve them. PB’s monthly meeting takes place this coming Friday (the 16th) at 2 p.m. in the library’s community room. We welcome people who love trees, are concerned about the many neglected or badly treated ones in parkways and public parks, and would like to find ways to get them fixed up so they can thrive and look good. Some people too might wish to encourage homeowners around here to plant the right trees in their empty parkway areas, which City Plants now does at no cost.

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