The Role of Trees in Combating the Urban Heat Islands of Los Angeles

An urban heat island is a phenomenon that occurs when the temperature of a large city is considerably higher than in the surrounding less-developed suburban and rural areas. The temperature difference involves how each environment’s surfaces absorb and retain heat. For example, the densely concentrated expanses of pavement and tightly packed buildings in urban areas absorb and hold heat much more than in natural landscapes with abundant greenery.

In Los Angeles, trees have a significant impact in combating the city’s urban heat islands. Along with other greenery such as bushes, shrubs and tall grasses, trees help lower ambient air and surface temperatures from the shade they provide and through evaporation and transpiration, which is also known as evapotranspiration. Trees provide numerous other benefits such as their substantial aesthetic value, providing oxygen, filtering stormwater runoff, reducing glare and sound pollution, contributing to energy savings and increasing property value.

Proper Maintenance and Care of Trees

Due to high temperatures and relatively low levels of precipitation, it is essential to regularly care for trees in the Los Angeles area. In light of how important trees are to the well-being of the community and in combating the city’s urban heat islands, investing in professional services is a wise move.

So, whether you require tree trimming, tree planting, a regular health check-up, or the removal of a large tree, finding the best tree service Los Angeles has to offer is a surefire way to ensure your trees’ well-being. Professional services employ certified arborists, consultants and ground crews with extensive know-how in tree maintenance and care.

The Iconic Palm Trees in the City of Angels

A landmark feature of Los Angeles is the magnificent palm trees that dot the landscape. Although they are nearly synonymous with the urban West Coast city, the majority of the palm trees are not native to the landscape, with only one type being part of the natural landscape.

Most of the trees were planted in the 1930s in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games, as part of a large-budget city-wide project to beautify the city. As part of an unemployment relief program, over 400 workers were gathered to plant the palms. Due to their hard efforts, by the time the 1932 Olympic Games rolled around, over 40,000 Mexican fan palms had been planted and the palm-lined boulevards ran the length of approximately 150 miles.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles’ exquisite collection of palm trees has been quickly declining in recent years. This decline is mostly a result of fungus, parasites and the city’s projects to protect the native plants.

Common Trees in Los Angeles Neighborhoods

Besides the abundant palm trees, there are many types of trees that are common to Los Angeles, such as the silver dollar gum eucalyptus. The eucalyptus trees tend to grow quite large and their silvery, feather-shaped leaves make for a picturesque landscape. An evergreen tree native to Australia is drought-resistant and well-suited for the sunny Southern California climate.

Other common sights include the weeping bottlebrush, purple-leaf plum trees, Chinese elm, the common crape myrtle and ginkgo biloba. Many of these species are not native to California, such as the abovementioned eucalyptus and bottlebrush that come from Australia and the ginkgo biloba that originally comes from China. Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest living tree species. It is popular in the health industry for its many benefits, such as improving memory and supporting healthy brain function.

In the decadent Beverly Hills area at Lily Pond, there is a sprawling Moreton Bay Fig tree that is over one hundred years old and ranks as one of the largest of its species in the United States.