Larchmont Village Trees

February 1st, 2017

The Ficus trees lining the business district of Larchmont Boulevard have long been the subject of heated discussion. Some people love them for their broad, shady canopy, their interesting branch structures, and the way they define the shopping district. They bring some of nature’s softness to our urban landscape. Others hate them because the strong, thirsty roots buckle the sidewalks dangerously, leading to possible lawsuits, and damage the plumbing of the businesses nearby. The fact that the Larchmont trees have been harshly pruned into awkward lollipop shapes is another strike against them.

What — if anything — to do? Early last month, a small group of merchants and residents gathered to hear a presentation on the subject by an experienced urban arborist, sponsored by the Larchmont Village Business Improvement District (BID).

The arborist began by explaining that all trees have a certain life span, and opined that the Village trees, planted in 1955, may be reaching their natural end. He said he had assessed the health of each tree, noting the condition of the visible roots and branch structure. While heavy root pruning has been necessary to try to prevent regular sidewalk damage, that pruning can also lead to root rot and general stress. Although the arborist cited three individual trees that he believes are beyond repair and should be removed soon, his report to the BID stated: “there are various alternative options that can happen to assist in the retention of most of the trees.”

The arborist’s report concluded: “All trees that produce into substantial canopies will eventually cause root damage. However, if the proper root damage prevention is done, and then maintained on a regular basis, coupled with routine and timely tree maintenance the potential for root damage can be minimalized.”

Of course, if the three trees are removed, what goes in their places? A different species? The arborist had a few recommendations of trees that have been successfully used as replacements for old Ficus trees, such as African Fern Pine or Brisbane Box. There is already one young Brisbane Box in front of Pickett Fences, and interested citizens can check out Brentwood Village to see how that community looks at mature street trees there. However, some communities, such as Santa Monica, handle their Ficus trees more successfully— continuing to replant the species in some places, such as along Montana Avenue. According to one of Santa Monica’s city foresters, they have an “aggressive sidewalk repair program,” and they prune their trees less often and more naturally, which leads to slower root growth.

Before any irreversible action is taken on Larchmont, the WSA believes more voices need to learn what’s in the music and then maybe join the chorus. This will take a bit more time. In the meantime, the existing Ficus trees should be rehabilitated with more skillful pruning, for as long as they can continue to grace our charming village.

Emergency Water Barrels for Windsor Square Residents

October 17th, 2016

Safety experts agree that long-term storage of potable water is the first important step for every family to be prepared for an emergency. In an emergency situation, tap water may not be safe to drink or use.

Windsor Square Association has arranged for a group purchase of 55-gallon water barrels suitable for safe, drinkable water storage. The barrels’ contents will stay fresh and germ-free for a minimum of five years. The barrel system is a big improvement over the individual plastic jugs which degrade and need to be replaced.

Our supplier will be offering the barrels for sale at our booth at the Larchmont Family Fair on October 30th from 12:00 – 5:30. The reasonable price of includes barrel delivery and set-up on your property.

This offer is currently only available to residents of Windsor Square.

The price of each barrel is $125.00 and includes:

1 empty barrel – 55 gallons (blue or white)

1 water preserver (water preserved for 5 years)

1 siphon pump (pour to use or replenish)

1 bung wrench (tighten and loosen taper caps) delivery to each home unloading barrel and placing in designated location adding water from the residence (using suppliers RV hose) to fill barrel adding water preserver assure caps were properly tightened.

Delivery dates will be: Thursday, November 10, 9-5 Friday, November 11, 9-5 Saturday, November 19, 8-5 some alternate dates available in December

Warranty

Our supplier will warranty barrels from any natural wear or cracking that could cause leakage for up to 5 years if stored outside on concrete or dirt or up to 12 years if stored inside a structure.

 

Please visit the Windsor Square Association booth at the Larchmont Family Fair on Sunday, October 30th from 12:00 – 5:30 to purchase your emergency water barrel!

 

Windsor Square Town Hall Meeting

October 17th, 2016

Mark your calendar and join us and your neighbors at the

Windsor Square Association

Annual Town Hall Meeting

Updates and discussions on neighborhood happenings

Thursday

November 17, 2016

7:00 pm

Coffee and cookies

The Ebell of Los Angeles

743 S. Lucerne Avenue

(accessible entry from west parking lot – enter from Eighth Street)