Speaking of books about trees, a reader named John Shannon offers this recommendation featuring some local arboreal heroes:
Should anyone want a glorious book on So Cal trees, it is hard to beat the old Trees of Santa Monica, though you'll have to buy it used. It's a super learning tool. You look up specific trees and it will tell you what block they're on, or you can look up a block and it will tell you (albeit sometimes dated) what you're looking at. You can't ask for better than that. The book is glowingly mentioned in Jim Harrison's wonderful novel Dalva. That's how I found it.
I discovered the hard way that L.A. is a terrible place to start your arboreal self-education. Since EVERYTHING grows here, there's just too much at once.
A Google search is coming up with Trees of Santa Monica and Trees of Santa Monica Bay, both out of print, but both for sale. Los Angeles Public Library doesn't seem to have it, so that leaves special collections. What Los Angeles needs is a library superhero. Super Librarian, please swoop down in your cape and find this book for me!