Friday, December 7, 2007

No. 93 - Pepper Trees

Pepper Trees

Pepper Trees
Canoga Avenue from Ventura Boulevard to Saltillo Street, Woodland Hills – map
Declared: 1/5/72

No offense to you pepper tree lovers, but this is sorta boring.

Pepper Trees

While I’m sure this stretch of Canoga Avenue in Woodland Hills was a paradise of pepper trees back when they were designated a city monument in 1972, today the trees don’t represent much beyond your pretty nice streetscaping.

Pepper Trees

The original pepper trees sprouted from the nursery owned by Victor Girard Kleinberger, head of the Boulevard Land Company and founder, in 1923, of the subdvision Girard, today called Woodland Hills. These pepper trees were among the more than 120,000 trees Girard had planted in the 1920s in effort to dress up his new development. In the mid-1990s, there were an estimated 300 lining this stretch of Canoga Avenue.

Girard Brochure
"Delightful Motor Trip"? - Count me in!

Today, the trees skirt the west side of Woodland Hills Country Club (once Girard Country Club, of course).

Pepper Trees

Pepper Trees

The pepper trees are Schinus molle and are native to Peru. They’re also susceptible to Texas Root Rot (the things you learn). You can see that some of the older, scragglier trees still exist, while a few are being replaced. In either case, the pepper tree-canopied blocks as seen in this vintage black and white photo (courtesy of the L.A. Department of City Planning’s website) aren’t to be found today.

Pepper Trees

Pepper Trees


Roderick, Kevin. The San Fernando Vally: America's Suburb. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Times Books, 2001.

Up next: Palm Trees and Median Strip


Robert J. Reed said...

Hello Floyd -- I am a Pepper Tree lover, but I have to agree, this is a scruffy bunch. Who is trimming these trees? The drive could be magnificent, but these trees look terrible. I’m going to visit the area, and think how I might alert the city to the monument status and the neglect and mismanagement of this resource.

Floyd B. Bariscale said...

Hi, Robert. My guess is most of these homeowners don't even know their trees are 'protected'.

John said...

Hello Floyd, we just had one of these trees pop un in our palm garden, or at least I think it is one of these. Ours is about 3 feet tall, covered with little white blooms, green and red peppers. THe peppers are very small about 1/4 of an inch long. What is the best way I can identify the tree and are the peppers ok to eat

Anonymous said...

I live directly on Canoga directly in front of one of these photos. Blame the city for poor trimming not the homeowners. The city sends out tree trimming crews every year who go way overboard trimming them. I know they are just trying to keep the streets and sidewalks safe from falling branches but in my opinion they take too much off the trees and much too often.