A massive California Sycamore tree fell at Citrus Avenue and First Street in Citrus Square yesterday smashing a nearby parked car but no one was injured.
Neighbors commenting on the social media platform Nextdoor said the tree had been reported to the City at some point in the last week because it had started leaning into the street.
It’s always hard to diagnose the cause of a demise in a tree because each circumstance is different. A local tree expert told the Buzz that trees generally fall because of a defect in the roots. In street trees, the most common cause of root defect is the result of excessive root pruning for sidewalk repairs.
Removing grass and installing drought tolerant landscaping has been cited by some as a potential problem for trees. But our tree expert said it takes a very long time for tree roots to die out so it’s not likely to be the cause of root defect. However, it is a good idea to deep water trees every 15- 20 days if possible. Ideally you want to water around the tree canopy so you are not destabilizing the roots with too much water. To make sure you are getting water down far enough, use a soil probe to make sure the soil 6-8″ down is wet.
There are lots of sources of information about caring for street trees including the Bureau of Street Services Urban Forestry Division website. City Plants, a continuation of a Million Trees LA planting program and Tree People, the non-profit working on urban forestry in LA for over 40 years.