Santa Ana winds: Hundreds of fallen trees await pick up

Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Downed trees line Green St in Pasadena

Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Ashley Bailey/KPCC


The Santa Ana clean-up continued Friday as crews across Southern California hauled trees and raised power lines all across Los Angeles.

Traffic resumed last night in Pasadena as crews Green Street hauled row after row of fallen Ficus trees from the road.

Chunks of trees about 3 feet wide are still stacked in piles like kindling along Green Street, between Arroyo and South Raymond. Some are wrapped in Christmas lights. Shallow roots have cracked through the cement sidewalk, causing sections of it to bow.

Ellen Stern of Pasadena said she watched crews chop up heavy tree trunks and branches, then drag the debris away from traffic.

“This is a really peaceful, tree-lined, beautiful street," Stern added, looking up the now-desolate block. "These trees are very old, obviously, and so it’s kind of taken out a little of the charm.”

Spokeswoman Ann Erdman says that it’s unclear how long it will take city and county public works to move the tree remnants off the street.

“Each and every tree has to be first moved out of the parkway," said Erdman. "And then they have to be chopped into pieces so they can be hauled away. So it’s an enormous job that will take some time, but all hands are on deck and they are moving as quickly as they can.”

Usually, the city takes a fallen tree and turns it into mulch. But Los Angeles will have to clear more than 400 trees from public roads in the coming days, to say nothing of the fallen trees in parks and arbors.

Some have turned to tree removal services to cushion the blow.

"We’re working 16 hours a day to relieve all our customers of the tree problems," said Hezy Bar, owner of J and T Tree Service.

He went on to claim that his company has received more calls than his five crews can respond to.

Tree removal-- particularly for large species like oaks or cedars-- can cost in the thousands of dollars. In light of this, Mayor Michael D. Antonovich of Los Angeles County announced Friday that a free disposal service will be made available to residents of the unincorporated communities.

This story has been updated.

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