Letters to the Editor: Planting a drought-tolerant tree? Great, but make sure it’s native

A large coast live oak, native to Southern California, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The Times points out the need to care for our urban and suburban trees for their many benefits during our ongoing drought with deep watering. The author also rightly points out that planting should be done in fall and early winter and that establishment may take up to three years.

Not mentioned are the native trees that are adapted to our Mediterranean climate and whose water needs are less than many of the nonnative landscape trees that are planted.

Toyon, blue elderberry, hollyleaf cherry, island ironwood and coast live oak are just a few of the native Southern California trees that can be planted for a green canopy in Los Angeles without guzzling copious amounts of water while also providing great habitat for native wildlife.


Tony Baker, Rancho Palos Verdes


To the editor: To save the one surviving tree on our property, I have found a water-wise way to supplement the twice-a-week irrigation allowed.

I drilled a nail-sized opening in the bottom of a 5-gallon water bottle, which I fill with a hose and move around the base of the tree daily. The water is absorbed slowly, and none goes to waste.

Isabelle H. Meyer, Glendale