Disappearing Trees in L.A. County Caused by Mansionization

The remodeling of single-family homes, including the controversial practice known as mansionization, has resulted in the destruction of the urban forest in Los Angeles County cities by as much as 55 percent, according to a study released May 1.

A story in the Los Angeles Daily News on May 2,  notes that USC researchers calculated that at least a 10-percent average decline in green cover from 2000 to 2009. This de-greening of L.A. took affect during L.A.’s “Million Trees” initiative.

This eucalyptus tree at the Recreation Center is dead and will be removed.
This eucalyptus tree at the Recreation Center is dead and will be removed.

The story was based on a report by USC professor of architecture Travis Longcore and professor Su Jin Lee (Spatial Science Institute). The researchers found that when there is a larger building footprint, there’s more hardscape, less trees, less grass and shrubs. For each home expansion, one-third of existing green cover is lost.

The greatest tree loss was in the 15th Council District, which includes San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City and Watts. The study noted that the 11th Council District also had a significant loss of trees.

Although many residents see trees as a landscaping accent, the plants actually produce oxygen and take in carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that causes global climate change. There are health benefits to having trees, which include lower asthma rates, because trees filter dust particles, and also help naturally to cool hot summer temperatures.

Visit sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170501112544.htm for more information.

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