A 140-year-old Moreton Bay fig tree that shaded a plaza at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument toppled suddenly during a Chinese lantern festival, reported Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times. The imposing tree was likely a victim of urbanization, according to UC Cooperative Extension horticulture advisor Don Hodel.
The commanding breed of tree with an enveloping canopy was brought to Southern California from Australia in the 1860 and 1870s to provide shade and ornamentation, Hodel said.
Three UC Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers in Southern California have raised concerns about the trend in California to remove lawns to cope with the drought, reported Janet Zimmerman in the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
They believe living lawns need not be sacrificed to meet mandatory water-conservation goals set by Gov. Jerry Brown. Turf simply needs to be managed better, said Dennis Pittenger, UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor based at UC Riverside. Pittenger co-wrote a white paper with UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor
Removing landscaping in urban areas to adapt to the California drought carries a gamut of potential repercussions on wildlife and the environment, reported LA Weekly. Two of Gov. Brown's water conservation rules - withholding water from grassy road medians and encouraging residents to remove their lawns - are taking an unexpected toll.
The subject was raised recently by two University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) experts in a position paper they published on their website, the story said.