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Thursday, February 10, 2011

LA Streets: Existing Conditions

I am pulling this one out from the files of design and construction miscues.  Ran into this tree while on a field visit in San Gabriel.  Why in the world a tree ever got planted here is beyond any reason, but, apparently, an ongoing testament to a miscue in a design office, missed plan checks in permitting, and a disastrous installation process in which the contractor refused to question the plans, and construction observation went out the window.  We put our street trees through enough (note the 4' x 4' planting area, massive surrounding imperviousness, residual nursery stake, and largely ineffective staking efforts), but planting them underneath a guy wire for an electrical pole just seems cruel.  There is no doubt this is a losing proposition from the get go.  While trees, always the optimists, make a good go of it, I am sure DPW will be coming to chop this tree back before long to make sure the electrical pole is not compromised.  With street trees being at a premium in Los Angeles, effective planning and installation for healthy, long-living trees can't be a luxury, but must be a necessity to build an effective and long-lasting urban forest.  Given that the well could have easily been installed ten feet to the left, I think it is fair to say we collectively dropped the ball on this one.

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