The insanity of ruining trees to make way for billboards

To the editor: I agree that the city of Los Angeles should crack down on unpermitted tree trimming. But more importantly, the city should do a better job of maintaining the trees it owns in the first place. ("Billboard company admits it hired workers who cut back Silver Lake trees without permits," Jan. 26)

Often, a roadway will be "improved," meaning that it might be widened and several trees are planted. That is likely the last time those trees are ever cared for.

If they are lucky enough to grow, the trees are often strangulated by iron grates, girdled by support ties or topped off by shop owners. That happened in my neighborhood. Instead of shade, today we have dead, stunted or completely missing trees.

The city must become a better steward of our urban forest before it totally disappears.

Genie Saffren, Los Angeles



To the editor: Memo to Ryan Brooks of Outfront Media, who said he "wouldn't know one tree from the next tree" and whose company hired tree trimmers to improve the visibility of a billboard it owns:

I am not in the advertising business, and I wouldn't know one billboard from the next. And if I were as arrogant and disrespectful of the public as you and your company apparently are, I would suggest that a bunch of folks meet tonight with chain saws and steel cutters, and we'll trim a few billboards so we can see the trees.

It's time to stop letting billboard companies visually pollute our city. We need trees to live; no one needs a billboard, ever.

Michael Hynes, Northridge

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