Trees in the way of the Exposition Light Rail Line in Santa Monica have been chosen to be either moved to a new location or removed and replaced. Those that were chosen to be removed are being replaced with two new trees. This means that there will be an overall increase of 120 trees in the Santa Monica area – paid for by the Exposition Construction Authority. In evaluating the trees, four arborists looked at the trees for value, cost of removal, and health. If the cost of moving the tree was more than the value of the tree, that tree was chosen to be replaced instead of being moved. Also, if the type of tree was not able to maintain health once being moved, it was chosen to be removed. There were 139 trees that were evaluated, and it was decided that 120 of those trees would be removed and replaced.
Planners chose to relocate trees, like palms, throughout the city where similar trees are located. The replacement trees will be almost exclusively be planted densely along the Colorado Avenue corridor to shield residents from the Expo Line. Community forester Walt Warriner said City Council is considering low-growing canopy trees that provide shade and spread broadly, although community input was also considered in the tree selection.
Although there will be an increase in the number of trees in the area, this increase does not completely replace full-grown trees that are to be removed. Full-grown trees are better at removing more carbon dioxide and other air pollutants, produce more oxygen, and help trap more storm water runoff. Newly planted trees will take years to reach a stage where they can provide the same benefits.