Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 29, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 7


Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 29, 2020 

TREES! by Susan McCreary – a tree nut

 If you stand on a San Gabriel Foothill trail and take 
a good look around, you might notice what looks 
like a tree-filled LA basin. It even changes color 
with the seasons. Purple Jacaranda dot the landscape 
in early summer, and sweet gum and sycamore 
add yellows and reds to the fall tapestry. 

 The Arbor Day Foundation started a program in 
the 1970s to enhance our urban environment with 
trees. Cities could apply for a TREE CITY USA 
designation, which meant they have achieved Tree 
City USA status by meeting four core standards of 
sound urban forestry management: maintaining 
a tree board or department, having a community 
tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on 
urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day. The cities 
of Monrovia and Sierra Madre have in the past 
achieved TREE CITY USA designation, but upon 
doing a quick search of the Arbor Day Foundation 
website, I see that both cities have dropped off the 
list, whereas Arcadia, San Marino, Temple City, 
Azusa, Pasadena, South Pasadena and Los Angeles 
are active TREE CITIES. 

We know that trees provide cooling shade, beauty, 
habitat, and increase property value, but trees also are a huge carbon sink. Trees breathe in CO2 and other gases 
and breathe out oxygen. Broad leaf species such as oaks and sycamores have a large surface area and lots of leaves 
which generate more photosynthesis and gas exchange. Conifers such as pines, have less surface area but absorb 
more heat. This is important because the average American citizen is responsible for generating roughly 20 
metric tons of CO2 annually. According to an MIT study, the somewhat disquieting bottom line is that in the 
United States, even the people with the lowest usage of energy are still producing, on average, more than double 
the global per-capita average. In the EU the average is 8.4 metric tons per person. According to NC State University, 
one tree can absorb 31-48 pounds of CO2, that means there needs to be 1,025 trees per person to offset 
the average carbon footprint. I calculated that my round -trip flight to Wilmington, North Carolina last winter 
generated 1.4 metric tons of CO2. Prior to 2006, the United States was the biggest CO2 producer at 5.3 billion 
(with a B) metric tons. Since then China has taken the top spot at 9.8 billion metric tons in 2017. India, with its 
plentiful coal and rapid industrialization is soon to take over the number 2 spot. 

As we have been hearing, the Amazon Rain Forest, which once covered 2 million square miles, is more than 20% 
gone, with 20,000 square miles being burned every year. At this rate, in 50 years the Amazon will be gone, leaving 
a barren savannah. When far right politician Bolsanaro was elected in 2018 he promised to exploit the Amazon 
rainforest to benefit the Brazilian economy. The rate of deforestation jumped by 30% in the year following. Indigenous 
tribes were violently displaced. Cattle ranching and soybean production for feed have moved in. 80% 
of the world’s beef supply is now from Brazil. This is another good argument for eliminating beef from your diet.

For the conscientious consumer with means, there are carbon offset programs to reduce one’s impact. A Swiss 
program gives the buyer a choice to support Kenyan women by providing more fuel efficient stoves, or help Nicaraguan 
subsistence farmers plant more trees. I support any kind of personal carbon offset program as long as 
the US consumer is doing other things, most importantly consuming less, as well as driving less, driving electric, 
installing solar panels, turning off the A/C for a few hours during peak times, and planting trees! 

Being a good steward of the trees around you is just as important. A mature tree cannot be replaced in your 
lifetime, so help it stay alive. We have been experiencing blistering triple digit temperatures here in the southland. 
Many trees in our area are not native and have difficulty coping with the stress of this kind of heat. A low 
slow deep watering is much more beneficial than a light daily sprinkle. Soaker hoses are a good option. Talk to 
a certified arborist about your trees and get to know what they like. A young tree needs more frequent watering, 
and a mature live oak will become sick with potentially lethal oak root fungus if its feet are wet in the summer 
during its dormancy. It takes about an hour for water to move 4 feet up a tree, so water before the heat strikes 
to improve the tree’s ability to cope with heat stress. Learn to look for signs of overwatering and underwatering. 
Age, size, soil composition, location, climate and species all play a part in how much water a tree requires. Speak 
to your city parks department if you notice a city tree in distress. The city has a financial incentive to address the 
problem. Keeping a tree alive is much less expensive than removing a dead tree.

RIP- Two of my neighbors chose to cut down magnificent trees because turkey vultures were roosting in them 
and making a mess underneath. A huge Morton Bay Fig and an elegant 70-foot-tall lemon eucalyptus both were 
felled before their time. Landscape lighting will often deter birds from roosting in trees and adds to the enjoyment 
of the tree. This is a much less costly strategy, too. Five years ago, in Sierra Madre, four giant blue gum 
eucalyptus trees stood about a half mile from each other in a perfect square. I called them the four pillars of the 
old Rancho Sierra Madre. Now only one remains, on Orange Grove just east of Lima. The stump of one remains 
on Highland. It is at least 5 feet in diameter. I feel a sense of guilt for not at least pointing out to the owners the 
historical significance of these pillars. Who knows? Maybe they would still be standing. 

Next time you are on a walk, try to identify the trees you see. There are apps for this! And if there is a tree in obvious 
distress, don’t hesitate to “speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues!” (from The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss). 
And finally, an old Buddhist saying – “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second-best time is 
today” (although I would argue that in Southern California, October is better). 

Further reading:

- The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf 

- The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

- Native Trees of Southern California by P. Victor Peterson

- Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau

08/28/2020 3:30pm 

(Compared to 8/21/2020)

LOS ANGELE COUNTY* 08/28/20 08/21/20

 Total Cases 238,458 229,054

 Deaths 5.732 5,491

STATS BY CITY Population Cases Deaths 

 (last week's stats in parenthesis)

 08/28/20 08/21/20

Pasadena 14,1371 2.331 (2268) 111 (111)

Uninc- East Pasadena 6,403 68 (65) 1 (1)

City of Arcadia 57,754 437 (426) 30 (30)

Uninc. - Arcadia 7.981 81 ( 80) 2 (2)

City of Bradbury 1,069 13 (13) 0 (0)

City of Duarte 22,016 466 (441) 25 (25)

Uninc.- Duarte 4,428 116 (113) 4 (2)

City of Monrovia 38,800 677 (649) 36 (35)

Uninc - Monrovia 3,881 74 (72) 0 (0)


City of Sierra Madre 10,989 67 (65) 3 (3)

City of So.Pasadena 26,053 249 (240) 26 (26)

Uninc.- Altadena 43,260 611 (558) 13 (13)

La County Testing as of 08/28/20: 2,257,457 (2,152,941)

Positivity Rate (No. of persons positive out of total persons tested) as 08/28/20: 5.6%

Nationally recommended Positivity Level: 5%

For updated information go to:


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is reporting three 
additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This brings 
the total cases of MIS-C in L.A. County to 28 children.


MIS-C affects children under 21 years old who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or 
had COVID-19. Different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, 
kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs and there can be lifelong health 


Twenty-eight percent of these cases were between the ages of 0 and 5 years old, 39% were 
between the ages of 6 and 12 years old, and 32% were between the ages of 13 and 20 years 
old. The majority of cases (71%) were Latino/Latinx.


There continue to be no reports of deaths in children associated with MIS-C in L.A. 


If you believe your child may be displaying MIS-C symptoms, contact your primary care 
provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, dial 2-1-1 and LA County will help 
connect you to one.


Public Health advises physicians to consider for MIS-C in patient children under 21 
years old and to notify the department immediately of any cases.


On Friday, the State revised their recovery roadmap and created an updated Tier Framework 
that classifies each California County based on their daily case rate and positivity 
rate. L.A. County has been placed in Tier 1 (purple) based on our average daily case rate 
for the prior two weeks of 13.1 new cases per 100,000 residents. 

Tier 1 is characterized by widespread community transmission. Although the State today 
revised slightly the list of permitted activities in Tier 1 to allow for the re-opening 
of both hair salons for indoor services and indoor shopping centers for permitted retail 
establishments, the County Health Officer Order has not been changed to permit these 

As such, since County orders may be more restrictive than State guidance, all current 
restrictions remain in place until the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health 
and the Board of Supervisors have an opportunity to review the suggested guidance from 
the State and take actions that are appropriate for our County. 

Friday, Public Health has confirmed 31 new deaths and 1,509 new cases of COVID-19. 
Of the new cases reported by Public Health on Friday more than 68% occurred in people 
49 years old or younger.


COVID-19 UPDATE 8/28/2020

California Pepper Tree


In an effort to assist renters with limited means affected by 
the COVID-19 crisis, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors 
has provided $100 million in CARES Act funds to 
create a COVID-19 Rent Relief program, operated by the Los 
Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA). The program 
is set to launch on Monday, August 17, 2020, and will 
remain open for a two-week period, closing on August 31, 
2020. The program’s goal is to assist between 8,000 to over 
9,000 households.

The emergency rental assistance provided is intended to 
meet the needs of low-income renters who have struggled to 
pay their rent and/or who are behind on paying rent due to 
the economic impacts caused by the pandemic. Those who 
are most at need will be targeted with more assistance.

The program is available to all residents of the County who 
qualify, with the exception of residents living in the City of 
Los Angeles, as the City also received its own allocation of 
CARES Act funds. A W-9 and participation agreement are 
needed from the property owners to receive rental income 
on behalf of their qualified tenant; property owners must 
agree to the terms of the participation agreement. Citizenship 
documentation will not be requested from any party 
(renter or property owner).

A list of Frequently Asked Questions with more program detail 
is available at


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