Save LA’s Tree Canopy

7 Steps in the Fight for LA’s Trees


Beyond beauty and the benefits they provide to homeowners, trees have profoundly positive effects on our communities. This is great, as saving our canopy will require a community effort!

Much of LA’s tree canopy is rooted in our parkways. This means we must include our neighbors and cities in our battle plans. While home and business owners maintain parkways, municipalities are responsible for parkway tree maintenance. Non-municipal arborists cannot trim or remove them without permits.

Here is what we can do ourselves:

  1. Avoid use of permeable paving (gravel, decomposed granite aka “DG”) within the tree canopy. It will prevent adequate water from reaching the tree.
  2. Water deeply but only once a month.
  3. Water within the drip line, under the tree canopy.
  4. Lay mulch within the drip line.
  5. Add vertical mulch to enhance water retention around trees that appear distressed. (Fertilizer is unnecessary! Use bark.)
  6. Build water wells where roots allow to retain natural rainfall.

Finally, if a tree appears unhealthy or dangerous, begins weeping sap or dies back suddenly, call the city or county arborist to raise awareness and schedule care and/or trimming. For trees in parks, contact the forestry division.