Outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday signed his final city budget next to an enormous ficus Tuesday, whose trimming became exhibit A for symbolizing a touted surge in city services.

The tree, on the curb in front of the Elysian Valley home of Maria Concepcion Guzman, 74, was a relative sapling when she moved in 35 years ago. Today, its untamed canopy stretches from the far side of Meadowdale Avenue well over the roof of her one-story, wood-sided, Spanish-style house.

Guzman said in Spanish that she has periodically asked the city to trim the giant, and had been told the city had a 20-year waiting list.

According to a June 4, 2013 article on the LA Times, former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa approved a $7.7-billion budget that focused on city utilities, especially tree trimming. According to Villaraigosa, the city failed to cut or trim enough trees, with a number of them overgrowing around homes and posing serious safety risks to property. While cutting trees may seem bad, there is nothing good about a tree that’s about to fall on top of your home.

New York City recently reported a third casualty of falling branches of park trees, the third since 2010. With a 65-percent budget cut, the city managed to cut 52 percent fewer trees between 2010 and 2012 than between 2006 and 2009. The uncut trees, with rotting or loose branches, posed an imminent danger to park visitors. Even cities like Los Angeles know that Los Angeles tree service is no less a necessity as far as public safety is concerned.

The least rotting or loose branches can do to roofs below them is scratch their shingles. However, trees can grow into giants and become potential fire hazards when in close proximity to power lines. That’s why it’s always a good idea to hire Los Angeles tree trimming services like those from Green Touch to go after such branches and cut them before they can cause any damage.

You can help keep trees safe by being familiar with any warning signs. In general, decay in the tree is one good sign that a branch (or even the whole thing) may soon fall. If you ever notice it, don’t wait till an accident occurs to have it remedied.

(Info from Mayor Villaraigosa Signs Final Budget, Highlights Tree Trimming, LA Times, June 4, 2013)