Here’s what’s wrong with your perfectly drought-tolerant Southern California landscaping

The title of this blog post is the same, deliberately provocative, title as a Dec 24th opinion article in the LA Times by Charles Miller.  It’s worth your attention.

An excerpt from the article:

…One justification for exotic species promoted within the landscaping industry springs from a fundamental misunderstanding of biodiversity. Many growers and landscapers have been incorrectly taught that the number of species planted is what’s essential.

In fact, while having a diverse palette of plants does help prevent the spread of disease, boosting diversity with nonnative species is counterproductive. Because exotic plants don’t support local soil chemistry and microbes, native insects, birds and mammals, or any of the other life that co-evolved with our native plants over millions of years, every nonnative plant added to a landscape effectively reduces its biodiversity value….

The article notes that the LA City Community Forest Advisory Committee (which notably does NOT yet have an urban forest representative for each council district) has “recently produced a list of 87 native species appropriate for use as street trees in the city.”  Why aren’t we paying more attention to work such as this?

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