Letter: Bottlebrush trees at Village Entrance are missed

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Paul Merritt’s letter ‘Village Entrance aesthetic leaves much to be desired’ (Feb. 2 Indy) addressed what has been on my mind for some time now. I, too, wonder who decided to replace the mature, established, drought-tolerant bottlebrush trees with what he calls “weeds in a gravel patch.”

Having worked in the landscape industry as a nurseryman for many years, I understand how much money all that plant material and new drip irrigation must have cost. It would not be an insignificant sum.

The likely response from the decision-makers would probably be that the replaced plantings are natives, and therefore, it was a responsible decision. However, I believe it is a widespread misconception that native plantings are easy to care for. I know from experience that it takes regular maintenance to keep native plants looking healthy and lush and that those miles of drip tubes will be courting a new crop of weeds, calling for more hours maintenance crews will need to work to keep the median from looking unkempt.

I agree with Mr. Merritt’s assessment; the loss of those colorful specimen trees on the approach to our town has indeed degraded the Village Entrance aesthetic.

Donna Furey, Laguna Beach

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