Even though “Hollywood” montages of Los Angeles show palm trees galore, the official tree of Los Angeles is the Coral Tree. I always assumed we called it “coral” because of the color of its flowers, even though that never really made sense because the flowers are red, not coral. My second guess, still related to the flowers, was that because they are clustered in inflorescence, it kind of looks like sea coral. Wrong again! The name comes from the fact that their branches look like sea coral. But, when a tree has such vocal flowers, who’s paying attention to the branches?
Perhaps the most impressive stand of Corals in the area is along San Vicente between the VA and the beach. There are about 120 trees planted along 5 miles of the ex-Red Car median. They were planted sometime after WWII. In 1976, they became a historic-cultural monument. In 2013, Brentwood residents are fighting to raise funds for the trees’ maintenance. Learn more about their campaign here: http://www.brentwoodcommunitycouncil.org/resources-links/our-coral-trees