Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Ebell to Remove Dead Cedar Deodora Tree

Workers are removing the large Cedar Deodora at the Ebell of Los Angeles, which has died.


This morning, workers began removing the large majestic Cedar Deodora tree at the historic Ebell of Los Angeles campus at Wilshire and Lucerne Blvd., because it has died.

Yesterday, Stacy Brightman, Executive Director of the Ebell of Los Angeles, sent a message to Ebell members (the Buzz co-publishers are proud Ebell members), bidding farewell to the heritage tree.

“Our House, Grounds and Theatre Committee is sharing the news that the Cedar Deodar that has graced our campus for decades is now at the end of its years,” wrote Brightman on behalf of The Ebell Board of Directors.

Though it was not planted when the building was built in 1927, the tree was planted shortly thereafter, according to Christy McAvoy, Ebell board director, who is coordinating The Ebell’s historic preservation and masterplan process.


This photo from the 1930s shows the Cedar Deodora tree sometime after it was planted in front of The Ebell of Los Angeles. (photo from The Ebell of Los Angeles)


While it’s difficult to diagnose the cause of death in a large tree, The Ebell’s consulting arborist, Cy Carlberg, speculated the tree may have simply reached the end of its natural life span. Planted sometime in the 1930s the tree is more than 90 years old. Mature trees like this one have a challenging life in urban neighborhoods these days. Persistent drought has stressed trees, leaving them more susceptible to disease and pathogens, which could have also contributed to the tree’s demise.

“We are sad to share this news with members and neighbors who are accustomed to seeing this once-beautiful tree,” said Laurie Schechter, President of The Ebell of Los Angeles. “It will be taken down shortly in an abundance of caution to avoid any potential accidental damage or injury to pedestrians.”

Looking ahead to a replacement, Ebell leaders told the Buzz they are going to consider the changing climate when deciding what species to plant. Los Angeles was much wetter decades ago when most of our neighborhood trees were planted.


It’s hard to diagnose the cause of death in a mature trees like The Ebell’s Cedar Deodora, but experts say the continuing drought stresses trees and makes them more vulnerable to disease and pathogens.


“The Ebell Board of Directors will be investigating an appropriate replacement for the tree in Phase II of our Preservation Master Plan, which takes into consideration the changing climate as well as the appropriate maintenance procedures for historic landscapes,” said McAvoy.

The landscape of the Ebell campus has evolved over the nearly 100 years since the building was constructed in 1927, as shown in the photo below from the Los Angeles Public Library’a Herald Examiner Photo Collection.


Ebell of Los Angeles, photo taken in 1929. (image from the Los Angeles Public Library Collection.)


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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  1. I am sad to see the loss of this Deodar Cedar. I love these huge fir-ee trees in our older neighborhoods. Many of the bigger ones remaining are on corners. Was that the landscaping trend of the 1930s? (There’s a residential street on the westside, near 26th Street, that is planted with young Deodars — maybe more appropriate with more moisture in their air and slightly cooler temps.) I had to Google … this tree can live 1,000 years in the Himalayas , but not in Los Angeles. Look forward to learning about the replacement tree.


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