Canoga Avenue from Ventura Boulevard to Saltillo Street, Woodland Hills – map
No offense to you pepper tree lovers, but this is sorta boring.
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.
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.
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Today, the trees skirt the west side of Woodland Hills Country Club (once Girard Country Club, of course).
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.
Roderick, Kevin. The San Fernando Vally: America's Suburb. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Times Books, 2001.
Up next: Palm Trees and Median Strip