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Goodbye Palms, Hello Oak?


[Image by flickr user tiarescott]

A reader alerts us to the nefarious underside of our Mayor's One Million Trees Iniative. It turns out palm trees are not part of that program, since they're not native, not particularly good for the environment, old and apparently dying. And we all know what happens to beauty in LA when it fades. Economic forces aren't helping the palm tree either, with nurseries subject to frequent burglaries as the price of healthy, full-grown palms hits $20,000. But don't expect Paula Daniels, chair of Villaraigosa's plan, to shed a tear for the palm tree. The woman is a practically a tie-dyed, peyote-popping hippie:

Planning for the future Los Angeles, Daniels says she recognizes the allure of palms but believes her city is ready to move beyond them. Just, she says, as the city needs to reduce its emphasis on the automobile. "I think that the symbol of a convertible parked near a palm tree really is iconic about L.A.," she says.

So what should replace that image?

"An oak tree and a bicycle," Daniels says.

That might be our favorite quote ever from a city hall bureaucrat.
· Oaks may replace L.A.'s dying palms [USA Today]