Questions Surround L.A.'s Tree-Planting Plan
"Villaraigosa has trumpeted his Million Trees LA initiative as a cornerstone of his environmental agenda, bringing it up before audiences as far away as London and Hong Kong. Each time, the mayor's refrain has been the same: 'We're planting 1 million trees,' a phrase that brings to mind a populace working harmoniously to transform Los Angeles into a verdant forest."
"The reality, however, is that, in many cases, organizers are not so much planting trees as giving them away, offering them up by the hundreds at fairs, festivals and farmers markets, many of them in the summer in a year of intense drought."
"So far, no one has checked to see whether those trees have been planted, are still alive or even are in Los Angeles, one of several cities pursuing massive tree initiatives."
"Of the roughly 110,000 he lists as planted, more than half -- 51% -- were given away to the public. Of those given away, more than a third were seedlings: slender wisps that die unless they are planted immediately, tree advocates say."