Monday, August 30, 2010

Red Car Property: Native Trees

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 20, 2010. California Black Walnut and Coast Live Oak help hold the steep slopes of the Red Car Property together in the rainy season. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Alright, I confess. Ten years ago, if you asked me to identify California Black Walnut or Coast Live Oak, I couldn't do it. Today, I could probably plot their locations on a map of the Red Car Property off the top of my head. Many neighbors have no clue what they look like.

Both species are important native trees covered by the City's Protected Native Tree Ordinance. Native trees are drought tolerant and provide food and habitat for native wildlife. Their root systems evolved to retain water, and as an added benefit, help hold the hillsides together in the torrential rain we get in Southern California.

Yes, the slope, up to the power lines, in the above photo, is a part of the Red Car Property. Much of the slope was removed when they built the 2 & 5 Freeways. It's taken decades, but the native trees have repopulated the slope.

Over the coming week, we'll be looking at the oak trees of the Red Car Property.