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Mulholland Drive Massacre: A Happy Ending

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In June, a reader and resident of the Hollywoodland Homeowners Association submitted photos of dying trees on Mulholland Drive, claiming the trees has been killed by a neighbor. Blame was placed on neighbors Tommy and Jeanne Shaw (he's the guitarist for Styx and pictured above). But when we spoke with Ronald Lorenzen, assistant chief forester for the city of Los Angeles, it was clear that the whole matter was under investigation. Via a local resident comes word that there is a resolution. Sadly, the resolution comes too late for those decapitated pines.

"After a very pleasant and productive meeting on Tuesday, July 29th between Ron Lorenzen of the city's Dept. of Urban Forestry, Tommy & Jeanne Shaw, Cara Rule & Jean Clyde Mason of the Hollywoodland Homeowners Association and Doug Mensman of Council District #4 - we are pleased to report that the decision has been made to replace the 9 dead and dying pine trees in the Mulholland median in the next couple of months with either native California Sycamores or a mutually agreed upon alternative. This was agreed upon taking into account the recommendations of Mr. Lorenzen (an arborist), the participants present and the majority of neighbors who responded to the HHA's informal poll on the subject.

The Shaws will be responsible for the cost of the majority of of the project and Mrs. Kay Stern, who is responsible for the destruction of one of the trees, will bear the cost of her fair portion.

It is important to note though, that the success of this project is partially reliant on the neighbors. While all the trees considered are "drought resistant", the 36 inch box trees that will be planted in the next couple of months will need to be watered occasionally (in the absence of rain) for about 2 years - in order to give the trees an opportunity to "take". It is our hope that those who live near the medians will either take on this task or offer access to their water to those who might wish to do so.

Additionally, the Hollywoodland Homeowners Association is considering "adopting" the median from the city to make sure it is properly maintained in the future. This is something we currently do with Hollywoodland's other public areas (village plaza, historic steps). With community support (and memberships!) we will have the means to continue those efforts."