November 13, 2014


The city needs to find ways to rein in ballooning tree-trimming costs, which have more than doubled in the last five years, a Los Angeles councilman said. The city spent $121 for each tree that was trimmed last year, up from $55 per tree in fiscal year 2009-10, according to Coun­cilman Paul Krekorian.


“We need to get to the bottom of these costs and find out why they've spiked so much,” he said. “What the city pays its contractors has to reflect actual market prices and should not be subject to abusive practices.”


The cost of tree-trimming climbed $1 in 2010-11 to $56 per tree, then jumped to $70 in the following two years before rising to $121 in fiscal year 2013-14, according to a motion introduced by Krekorian, who wants city Bureau of Street Services officials to report back with ideas to lower tree-trimming costs. His motion also asks that the City Attorney’s Office examine its tree- trimming contracts and explore protections against any abusive business practices that might affect costs. Public Works Department officials said the rising costs are due to cutbacks to the city’s in-house tree-trimming crews, which weakened the city’s ability to negotiate lower rates from contractors, according to Krekorian's motion.


The lack of competition among the few firms seeking city tree-trimming contracts was also blamed, he said. The issue will initially go before the City Council’s Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee.

Category: Business