Yes, defenders of the trees have publicly threatened to start hunger strikes, according to the Los Angeles Times, which is reporting that landmark status was denied to the Santa Monica trees on Monday. At the center of the battle: 54 trees between 2nd and 4th streets that are cracking up the sidewalk; the city wants to replace each ficus with two young ginkgo trees. (Always a younger, prettier tree coming up!) Defending the decision, Elaine Polachek, director of community maintenance, tells the paper: "The ficus might be happier in another location and their roots able to run freely as needed." But the decaying older ficus will be euthanized and Treesavers, the group in favor of protecting the trees, plan to file a lawsuit "contending that the city violated state law by not filing an environmental impact report regarding the tree removal," reports the paper. In addition to threatening a hunger strike, tree defenders say they will plan funerals.
· Landmark status denied for trees [LA Times]
· Indie Director Speaks Out On Behalf of Santa Monica Ficus Trees [Curbed LA]
· Fake Trees Cast No Shadow in Downtown Santa Monica [Curbed LA]