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A January 5 Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting left a gathering of about 15 community members relieved and one couple disappointed, as the City agreed to changed its plan to cut down a Torrey Pine on the 4600 block of Long Branch Avenue.

The 80-foot-tall tree, which leans significantly into the street, was tagged for removal in November 2010. Some nearby residents were concerned that the slant of the tree made it susceptible to falling during a heavy rain or windstorm. Others argued that a trimming could alleviate most concerns and that repairs to the sidewalk damaged by the tree’s roots could be performed without endangering the tree.

Local resident Richard Agee commissioned one of several studies performed by arborists that determined the tree’s root structure was sufficient to support its lean, a trait not uncommon with Torrey Pines.

Hasan Yousef, of San Diego’s street division, announced to applause that the City would fix the sidewalk without disturbing the root structure in order to allow for the tree’s continued growth.

When measured for movement during the recent heavy storms, the tree showed no signs of instability. It is slated for a months-overdue pruning to reduce the weight of its canopy.

Pictured: Hasan Yousef (standing)

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