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

Century-old oak near Crest gets haircut

County road crew takes off too much of tree at entry to the Crestridge Ecological Reserve.

Uncut tree. Crestridge is a 3,000-acre reserve chock-full of old-growth Engelmann and live oaks.
Uncut tree. Crestridge is a 3,000-acre reserve chock-full of old-growth Engelmann and live oaks.

A county road crew, armed with permission to trim, cut off a substantial part of the century-old oak tree at the Horsemill Road entry to the Crestridge Ecological Reserve near Crest last week.

Cut tree. "They've said they are very sorry about the miscommunication."

"I was coming off the hiking trail when I saw what they'd done and how much they took," said Leila Sinclair, who lives nearby. "It's not like you can put the limbs back on."

From the road, it appears that the front half of the tree is gone, like a piece of broccoli cut in half. There are more than a dozen visible wounds where branches were cut back or lopped off. From an arborist point of view, the cuts are mostly appropriate for a tree — just not for this tree.

"They came out and painted the cuts with a wound sealant."

The reserve staff had asked a county road crew to come and sweep the north end of Horsemill Road, at the reserve entrance, according to Chris Manzuk, the reserve manager. They were unable to get the street sweeper under the tree's canopy over the road, which means that fire trucks wouldn't be able to either, and so the crew's supervisor offered to return and trim the tree. (Fire trucks need 14.5 feet of clearance.)

But the crew returned without the supervisor who was familiar with the limited trimming that park staff had agreed to and took off a lot more tree than expected, according to Manzuk

"We were all pretty shocked to see how much of the tree they cut off," neighbor Margie Padelford said. "We know they didn't mean any harm, but it was still very sad to see what was left.

Crestridge is a 3,000-acre reserve chock-full of old-growth Engelmann and live oaks in a spectacular area near Crest, about three miles east of El Cajon. It's a rare shady oasis in East County, where the trees grew up around a creek, and hiking trails traverse oasis settings in an area known for its blazing heat part of the year.

The reserve is part of a chain of open space owned by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and its trails connect the Lakeside Reserve on the north to the San Diego Wildlife Refuge. While it is rarely crowded because few people know about it outside the area, it is very popular with people who live nearby. Sinclair's daughter's wedding was held in the oak grove in July, where the shade kept the guests and wedding party comfortable.

"This is our backyard — we use the reserve, we hike it and we value it," Sinclair said.

Manzuk hired on about a year ago and has spent the last year trying to fend off Gold Spotted borer beetles and trying to balance those efforts with getting the trees through the years of drought.

"It's a careful balance," he said. "You have to be careful you're not doing something that's beneficial to one tree but detrimental to another."

The tree cutting came at the worst possible time. Once a year, the invasive gold spotted borer larvae become adults and leave the host tree in search of other oaks to push into. Compromised oaks, with weakened ability to fight are a prime target.

The reserve will be closed Thursday and Friday so staff can apply pesticide to try to fend off the bugs. After that, the county crew will be returning to follow up on rehabilitating the tree, working with the reserve staff.

"The county already came out after we asked and painted the cuts with a wound sealant that will help the trees," Manzuk said. "They've said they are very sorry about the miscommunication and they're making efforts to make up for this."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Strings dominate at Oct. 20 Mainly Mozart

Prokofiev, Mozart, Beethoven at Del Mar Fairgrounds
Next Article

Tasty trip to Tijuana

They have everything you’d expect, including my latest fave taco, octopus
Uncut tree. Crestridge is a 3,000-acre reserve chock-full of old-growth Engelmann and live oaks.
Uncut tree. Crestridge is a 3,000-acre reserve chock-full of old-growth Engelmann and live oaks.

A county road crew, armed with permission to trim, cut off a substantial part of the century-old oak tree at the Horsemill Road entry to the Crestridge Ecological Reserve near Crest last week.

Cut tree. "They've said they are very sorry about the miscommunication."

"I was coming off the hiking trail when I saw what they'd done and how much they took," said Leila Sinclair, who lives nearby. "It's not like you can put the limbs back on."

From the road, it appears that the front half of the tree is gone, like a piece of broccoli cut in half. There are more than a dozen visible wounds where branches were cut back or lopped off. From an arborist point of view, the cuts are mostly appropriate for a tree — just not for this tree.

"They came out and painted the cuts with a wound sealant."

The reserve staff had asked a county road crew to come and sweep the north end of Horsemill Road, at the reserve entrance, according to Chris Manzuk, the reserve manager. They were unable to get the street sweeper under the tree's canopy over the road, which means that fire trucks wouldn't be able to either, and so the crew's supervisor offered to return and trim the tree. (Fire trucks need 14.5 feet of clearance.)

But the crew returned without the supervisor who was familiar with the limited trimming that park staff had agreed to and took off a lot more tree than expected, according to Manzuk

"We were all pretty shocked to see how much of the tree they cut off," neighbor Margie Padelford said. "We know they didn't mean any harm, but it was still very sad to see what was left.

Crestridge is a 3,000-acre reserve chock-full of old-growth Engelmann and live oaks in a spectacular area near Crest, about three miles east of El Cajon. It's a rare shady oasis in East County, where the trees grew up around a creek, and hiking trails traverse oasis settings in an area known for its blazing heat part of the year.

The reserve is part of a chain of open space owned by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and its trails connect the Lakeside Reserve on the north to the San Diego Wildlife Refuge. While it is rarely crowded because few people know about it outside the area, it is very popular with people who live nearby. Sinclair's daughter's wedding was held in the oak grove in July, where the shade kept the guests and wedding party comfortable.

"This is our backyard — we use the reserve, we hike it and we value it," Sinclair said.

Manzuk hired on about a year ago and has spent the last year trying to fend off Gold Spotted borer beetles and trying to balance those efforts with getting the trees through the years of drought.

"It's a careful balance," he said. "You have to be careful you're not doing something that's beneficial to one tree but detrimental to another."

The tree cutting came at the worst possible time. Once a year, the invasive gold spotted borer larvae become adults and leave the host tree in search of other oaks to push into. Compromised oaks, with weakened ability to fight are a prime target.

The reserve will be closed Thursday and Friday so staff can apply pesticide to try to fend off the bugs. After that, the county crew will be returning to follow up on rehabilitating the tree, working with the reserve staff.

"The county already came out after we asked and painted the cuts with a wound sealant that will help the trees," Manzuk said. "They've said they are very sorry about the miscommunication and they're making efforts to make up for this."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Cavalcade marks the earlier U.S.-Mexican borders

700 cowboys ride the hills behind Rosarito
Next Article

John Ashbery: classmate to Kenneth Koch and Frank O’Hara

Poems with disjunction of syntax, a prevalence of puns, whimsy and wit
Comments
2

Wow, there's switch - a governmental agency that admits they screwed up and does what in can to fix it. I'm sure the tree will survive. Let's hope.

April 26, 2017

probably told a mexican to do it and he didn't understand the instructions

April 26, 2017

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close