BILLBOARD WATCH-Can we stipulate that trees are more important than billboards? Trees add natural character to urban areas, billboards create visual clutter. Trees help clean the air, billboards–especially of the digital variety–use energy that contributes to global warming. Trees provide places of rest and relaxation, billboards hawking goods and services are a kind of visual noise adding to the cacophony of the urban environment.
The tree in the photo above that was partially blocking the view of an Outfront Media billboard on Venice Blvd. was literally butchered sometime in the past few weeks. Any arborist will tell you that “topping” a tree this way by whacking off its crown is disastrous for the tree, both in terms of health and appearance. Yet it keeps happening all over the city where the view of a billboard is impeded.
If the tree is on private property, we can only rue the damage done to one of the most important living things in our urban setting. If the tree is on public property, it is an illegal act and should be reported by calling the city hotline at 3-1-1.
(Dennis Hathaway is the president of the Ban Billboard Blight coalition. He can be reached at: Dennis@banbillboardblight.org)
Vol 13 Issue 66
Pub: Aug 14, 2015