Mirror Staff Writer
The City has decided to remove 77 eucalyptus trees from its parks and street rights-of-way.
City officials retained the services of arborist Dr. Jim Clark of HortScience to aid them in the evaluation of the City’s 600 eucalyptus trees. Clark found that 77 of the City’s mature eucalyptus trees are in a state of decline and another 440 trees need corrective pruning. Risk of tree failure was determined by “evaluating the tree’s health and structural condition, considering environmental factors of the site, weather and management that may contribute to failure and assessing the likelihood a person or object would be injured or damaged should a failure occur.”
The total cost to the City for the tree removals and pruning will be $175,000. This also includes the cost of replacing the 77 trees as well as the costs for establishment and maintenance of the trees. City Community Forest and Public Landscape Superintendent Walt Warriner told the Mirror notices will be placed on the trees slated for removal two weeks prior. Notices will also sent to the residents and merchants on both sides of the street where the trees are located, and will contain contact information for those who want to comment to the City on the trees’ removal.
According to Warriner, each eucalyptus tree will be replaced by a species of eucalyptus that fits in with the “theme of the street trees, and has a good track record in an urban environment.” The City has chosen three species to be used as replacements: Eucalyptus Nicholii, the Eucalyptus Torquata and the Eucalyptus Cladocalyx.
The City’s community forest consists of 32,771 trees and 220 different species, including Carob and Canary Island Date Palm. Once the Eucalyptus trees are removed and replaced, the City will begin to evaluate its other tree species.
Tree removals will start on May 22 and will continue through June 23. The replacement trees will be planted in October. For comments or questions, contact Walt Warriner at 310.458.8974 or walter.warriner@ smgov.net.