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Save Big Trees, but Watch the Sneeze

March 13, 2004

"No Safe Arbor in the City" (March 8) makes an excellent argument for increasing the number of trees planted in our urban areas. What is missing in the article is how we citizens can get involved and help solve the problem. Here in Los Angeles we are very fortunate to have Tree People, a nonprofit group dedicated to the "greening" of our urban environment. It has a multitude of ways we can volunteer to plant trees and maintain greenbelts throughout Los Angeles and in nearby parks.

Improving our environment is greatly enhanced when we stop relying on government agencies and get involved ourselves. Groups like Tree People empower everyone who wants to help by giving us a chance to truly make a difference in our community's quality of life.

Matt Horns

Santa Monica

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Urban forestry pioneer Eric Oldar should be commended for bringing the incredible shrinking foliage problem to light. As a West Hollywood resident, I watched in dismay as an allegedly progressive city government ripped out mature ficus trees and now cringe at the thought of almost a half-acre of trees threatened with destruction for the gigantic Laurel Avenue Retirement Home project. This is progressive governing? For shame.

Roy Rogers Oldenkamp

West Hollywood

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It is terrible that we are losing our canopy of shade trees; it is a real crisis and something needs to be done about it quickly. Big trees do indeed improve quality of life -- for the birds, bees, butterflies and certainly for us too. The trend toward using only small trees is not a healthy one.

But please, for all of us with allergies or asthma, while we're talking about millions of new, big street trees for Los Angeles, let's plant ones this time that are pollen free. We need more female trees in all of our landscapes.

Virginia Bradshaw

Burbank

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