In July, when the Pacific Palisades Business Improvement District hired Luis Casas of Legacy Tree Care to trim the trees along Sunset Boulevard and other areas in the district, his crew discovered that two of the Indian Laurel Ficus trees were dying and would likely not survive.
Casas said that possible causes of the dieback could be inadequate root space, insufficient water, natural aging or disease.
“The pattern of the dieback and damaged tissue is characteristic of a disease called Sooty Canker,” Casas told BID representatives and noted that this disease is often found in Coastal Southern California regions and targets these trees.
There was concern that the large dead branches could begin to fall, causing a danger to those walking on the sidewalk or to cars traveling on. An inspector from the City’s Urban Forestry Department came out to examine the trees and then issued a permit to remove them and plant replacements.
BID Co-President Kevin Niles reached out to the Palisades Forestry Committee, a new Community Council committee. They suggested replacing the ficus trees with Chinese Flame trees. This choice provides a uniting element to both sides of Sunset throughout the village because this species is already being used in front of Amazon Books, Lululemon and Erewhon on the north side and in front of Chase Bank at La Cruz.
Most likely the week of September 13, residents may see arborists removing the tree in front of the Citibank building on Sunset and the tree across the street between Naturella and Wells Fargo Bank.
Afterwards the stumps will be removed, and the new trees planted.
Are the Chinese Flame trees native to California? As I understand, when we plant around our homes and gardens, we’re encouraged to choose native plants which are better for the local environment.