What is the Magnolia Park Reforestation Plan?
Recently, a 15-year plan was approved to remove approximately 35 trees per year, the majority of which are Ficus trees, along Magnolia Boulevard (from the I-5 Freeway Bridge to the City limits) and Hollywood Way (between Clark Avenue and Chandler Boulevard). The strategy outlined in the 15-year plan is to remove about every 15th tree to minimize the effect on the canopy of each block. This removal pattern will allow new trees to grow before others are removed.
Why are we removing these trees?
The Ficus were planted approximately 30 years ago, and while they have created a beautiful canopy along the business corridor, there are a number of issues with these trees that led to the development of this plan. Their growth requires frequent and costly pruning/trimming and has caused significant root damage to the sewers, curbs, sidewalks and private property. These trees are also infested by Ficus Whitefly, which adds an annual expense to keep the pests under control. In addition a new disease, Sooty Canker may soon threaten the Ficus trees with an incurable disease. In an attempt to keep the trees over the years the City has spent a tremendous amount of money and resources repairing the streets, sidewalks, and sewers, and treating the trees.
What is going in its place?
The Ficus will be replaced with Pink Trumpet trees on the corners, and Chinese Pistache trees in the middle of the blocks. Pink Trumpet trees grow to be 35-40 feet tall, and have pink flowers in the late winter and early spring. The flowers, while beautiful, can create a nuisance when they fall. This is a larger growing tree which may eventually cause infrastructure damage and block signage, however staff has found that the tree tolerates root pruning well in order to perform infrastructure repair.
The Chinese Pistache is a deciduous tree with fabulous fall colors (usually bright red). It drops all of its leaves, and the female trees can have small red berries, though they are not generally a litter problem.
There is no tree without vulnerabilities or potential nuisances. However, staff has worked diligently to select two species that appear to have the least destructive impact with the greatest potential benefits to the City.The removal of these trees will change the character of Magnolia Boulevard, but the hope is that this investment will create an atmosphere for the next generation that is even better than the present.
For more information, please call Forestry Services at: 818.238.5304