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People Suffer When Good Trees Grow Bad

May 03, 2003

I read with great interest "Many Tree Debates Are Rooted in Age" (April 29), regarding the controversy that arises when large trees are removed. As a resident for 18 years on a street lined with huge ficus trees, I am quite familiar with the problems that these trees cause. I have been trying to get the city to repair the sidewalk in front of my house for nearly 10 years. At present, the sidewalk has been pushed up and is tilting at a 45-degree angle, making it difficult, if not impossible, to walk on. The city's Bureau of Street Services has acknowledged that the sidewalks are badly in need of repair but is so intimidated by the tree huggers that it is hesitant to take any action.

Ficus trees are very messy, the roots are invasive, the shade so dense it is difficult to grow anything under the canopy, birds in large numbers roost in them, resulting in damage to the paint on our vehicles, and the trees drop leaves and berries nearly year round. It is the property owner who has to rake up the leaves, clean up the berries, wash the cars and try to coax grass or other landscaping to survive. People who do not have to live with the consequences of these trees being near their property should have no say in whether they go or stay.

Patricia Lamb

Los Angeles

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