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Coronado eucalyptus trees destined for doom

“The whole thing happened without any notice whatsoever.”

Residents met with city employees on September 10 to discuss the planned removal of four trees
Residents met with city employees on September 10 to discuss the planned removal of four trees

Kirby Watson has resided in the shade of the eucalyptus trees on Coronado Island’s E Avenue for over 45 years. She said she was devastated when she received a letter from the City of Coronado last week informing her that several of the trees on her block were destined for removal.

Watson was saddened by the idea of losing the trees that she considered central to her neighborhood, but was more disturbed by the city’s handling of the issue.

“I just got my letter on Saturday and here we are on a Wednesday,” Watson said on September 10. “The whole thing happened without any notice whatsoever.”

In early 2014, a eucalyptus tree branch fell in the street of E Avenue’s 100 block, causing no damage but prompting a concerned citizen to file a safety complaint with the city. Upon closer inspection by certified arborists, 4 of E Avenue’s 18 eucalyptus trees were found to be structurally unsound or decaying.

“This city loves its trees,” said Cliff Maurer, Coronado’s director of public services. “We didn’t reach this decision lightly, but these trees pose an unacceptable safety threat.” They will be removed within the next few weeks.

The city hosted an onsite meeting on September 10. Nearly three dozen residents discussed the removal with Maurer, who was joined by Coronado parks supervisor Jess Culpeper and two arborists from West Coast Arbors, Mike Patal and Cris Falco.

The trees are between 60 and 100 years old and are over a hundred feet tall. Eucalyptus trees are self-pruning, meaning that they naturally discard dead branches, which can weigh thousands of pounds apiece. “These trees are reaching the ends of their lives,” said Falco. “When trees die, they don’t just disappear — they can fall apart. That’s scary.”

Risk aside, the trees are gorgeous. Several of the block’s homeowners said that the ambiance created by the trees was a major factor in their decision to invest in property

“People stop in the middle of the street to get a picture of these trees,” said resident David Korrey.

Most of the decision process took place behind closed doors. According to Maury, after the city received the initial safety complaint, it had a litigative responsibility to investigate the issue. West Coast Arbors performed two assessments before making their recommendation, which was presented in closed council to the district attorney and city-council members.

The city attorney reviewed the judgments that came against other cities in similar urban forest cases. “The city council voted and came to a consensus,” said Maury.

“It’s ridiculous that this has been going on for months on a need-to-know basis,” said Rob Watson. “It’s our job, as residents, to take action.”

Amy Steward, a 22-year resident of E Avenue, is planning to do just that. “This whole thing was done underhandedly,” she said. “We’re going to mobilize the neighbors.” She will host a meeting in her home on September 13. “We want to see if we can slow this process down...or stop it altogether.”

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Residents met with city employees on September 10 to discuss the planned removal of four trees
Residents met with city employees on September 10 to discuss the planned removal of four trees

Kirby Watson has resided in the shade of the eucalyptus trees on Coronado Island’s E Avenue for over 45 years. She said she was devastated when she received a letter from the City of Coronado last week informing her that several of the trees on her block were destined for removal.

Watson was saddened by the idea of losing the trees that she considered central to her neighborhood, but was more disturbed by the city’s handling of the issue.

“I just got my letter on Saturday and here we are on a Wednesday,” Watson said on September 10. “The whole thing happened without any notice whatsoever.”

In early 2014, a eucalyptus tree branch fell in the street of E Avenue’s 100 block, causing no damage but prompting a concerned citizen to file a safety complaint with the city. Upon closer inspection by certified arborists, 4 of E Avenue’s 18 eucalyptus trees were found to be structurally unsound or decaying.

“This city loves its trees,” said Cliff Maurer, Coronado’s director of public services. “We didn’t reach this decision lightly, but these trees pose an unacceptable safety threat.” They will be removed within the next few weeks.

The city hosted an onsite meeting on September 10. Nearly three dozen residents discussed the removal with Maurer, who was joined by Coronado parks supervisor Jess Culpeper and two arborists from West Coast Arbors, Mike Patal and Cris Falco.

The trees are between 60 and 100 years old and are over a hundred feet tall. Eucalyptus trees are self-pruning, meaning that they naturally discard dead branches, which can weigh thousands of pounds apiece. “These trees are reaching the ends of their lives,” said Falco. “When trees die, they don’t just disappear — they can fall apart. That’s scary.”

Risk aside, the trees are gorgeous. Several of the block’s homeowners said that the ambiance created by the trees was a major factor in their decision to invest in property

“People stop in the middle of the street to get a picture of these trees,” said resident David Korrey.

Most of the decision process took place behind closed doors. According to Maury, after the city received the initial safety complaint, it had a litigative responsibility to investigate the issue. West Coast Arbors performed two assessments before making their recommendation, which was presented in closed council to the district attorney and city-council members.

The city attorney reviewed the judgments that came against other cities in similar urban forest cases. “The city council voted and came to a consensus,” said Maury.

“It’s ridiculous that this has been going on for months on a need-to-know basis,” said Rob Watson. “It’s our job, as residents, to take action.”

Amy Steward, a 22-year resident of E Avenue, is planning to do just that. “This whole thing was done underhandedly,” she said. “We’re going to mobilize the neighbors.” She will host a meeting in her home on September 13. “We want to see if we can slow this process down...or stop it altogether.”

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2

“I just got my letter on Saturday and here we are on a Wednesday,” Watson said on September 10. “The whole thing happened without any notice whatsoever.”

SO WHAT??? What are you going to do with "notice"?

Sept. 11, 2014

“We’re going to mobilize the neighbors.”

To do what? "We demand the right to have dead trees fall on us!" Sheesh...

Sept. 11, 2014

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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