Mayor Tom Bradley has instituted a movement to beautify our city by the planting of new trees. A wonderful idea.
Anyone who has spent even a few minutes on one of the tree-lined streets of Pasadena can appreciate the validity of the principle. The huge ash trees that arch high into the sky and almost meet their neighbors' across the street form an avenue of quiet shade. The values are acoustical as well as visual and cooling.
Unfortunately, many of our San Fernando Valley streets have never had a chance to even come close to such a desirable realization. There are a couple of reasons for our death of tree-shaded streets.
Many of the street trees are of species that do not mature into shade trees. Some of them are more on the order of overgrown shrubs. Some species of trees seem to be so short-lived that after 30 years or so, many of the streets have only two or three trees per block of the original street trees. Those trees that have been lost to wind storms, old age, etc., have not been replaced. A five-minute drive through almost any 30-year-old subdivision will offer a startling contrast between the haves and have-nots. Streets with trees and streets without. The desirability of the trees is immediately obvious.
Periodically the city tree people come through the neighborhood and massacre the few trees that were have remaining, presumably to allow access for our trash trucks.
Mayor Bradley's noble endeavor to improve our environment could and should begin with our existing street trees. Our planners should approve new guidelines on the selection of plant materials, and our city council should take the lead in carrying out a program to plant replacement trees and to ensure the proper professional maintenance thereof.