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Pasadena's Tree Removal: Shady Business?

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At a February 9th meeting, the Pasadena City Council voted to go ahead with their over ten-year-old plan to remove 43 ficus trees from streets in the area, particularly many on Colorado Boulevard that share the land with popular local businesses.

The plan met with opposition from residents and some business owners, predominantly because the replacement trees would take too long to produce shade that would help shoppers suffer the often-intense heat of Pasadena more gladly. Those in favor of cutting down the trees were concerned about the immediate problem of messy seed pods and the potential for the trees' roots to cause problems with plumbing and rupturing sidewalks, making them difficult for pedestrians and the disabled to walk upon them with ease.

Late last month, there was hope for those hoping to stop the plan, as one Council member wavered on his stance. Although the City Council's vote less than two weeks later solidified the plan and approved funding for its implementation, when trees were felled late in the night at the end of last week, people's reactions ranged from surprised to outraged.