Letters Regarding the Tipu Trees Proposed for the Park

The roots from the tipu trees, resulted in the brick pathways had to be redone. This tree was suggested for Veterans Gardens near the bocce courts.


The Tipu Provides a Good Choice

Wow, Sue! What happened to reporting all sides of the story? I sent you the UFEI/Select Tree information (considered to be the Gold Standard of arboreal information by most arborists for Southern California) comparing the Tipu to the Incense Cedar that was the alternate recommended for consideration in Veterans Garden.

For some reason you fail to mention that the Cedar will be too tall (at 90 feet compared to 50 ft for Tipu), not wide enough for the desired shade in that location (at 10-15 feet compared to 25-50 feet for Tipu), and requires the same root space for planting.

Additionally, the Cedar has potential health risks for Allergies and Irritants (none noted for Tipu), which are not appropriate for a tree in a park with children and seniors. And, the myriad list of pest and disease susceptibility for the Cedar (Phytophthora, Root Rot, Red Ring Rot, Beetle Borers, Juniper Scale, and Western Cedar Bark Beetle) is not mentioned.

The Tipu Psyllid can be treated with a systemic spray (like aphids on a rose) while Root Rot and Beetle Borers may require removal of the tree.

Lastly, the beautiful Tipus in the Village Green have survived for 50 years despite being planted in the wrong place. They are way too close to sidewalks (5 feet versus the required 10; compared to the 20 feet available at Veterans Garden) and watered with lawn sprinklers (versus the deep root water bubblers used for trees at Veterans Garden).

“Maybe” the Tipu is exactly the right tree for the Veterans Garden space since it was recommended by the arborists at Rec and Parks who ultimately are the ones responsible.

Cindy Kirven

Member, Palisades Forestry Committee


A Different Tree than Tipu?

I read with concern the Circling the News’ post regarding the selection of new trees at the Palisades Recreation Center, some of them exotics.

The selection of Tipu trees in particular seems questionable. It appears from my research of these non-native trees that they create a great deal of maintenance, require regular irrigation (despite contrary belief), have extremely invasive roots, and shed profuse quantities of flowers and “honeydew”- type resin. Additionally, they are susceptible to pests (the Tipu Psyllid) for which there are no predators in Southern California (unlike their native South America).

From the Four Seasons Tree Care blog: “As a tree service company, we get year-round complaints about these trees. In early spring they look terrible before the flowers and leaves appear. In early summer they make a huge mess when the abundant flowers fall off. In mid-summer, the Psyllids drop copious amounts of sticky honeydew. By fall they have grown 12-foot-long whip-like branches that hang in the street and sidewalks. Mid-winter they drop most of their leaves. And finally, by the end of winter, people are complaining about hardscape damage from invasive roots.” https://fourseasonstc.com/tipuana-tipu/

The San Diego-based company then notes that they like these trees because “they generate a healthy amount of business for us. We have to clearance prune them once a year. We apply insecticides and growth regulators to keep residents’ complaints to a low murmur. Then, after a few years, we remove them because they were planted in areas too small to support their size.”

As neighbors of the park, we already deal with a great deal of noise from the 4x/weekly blowing of the bocce courts due to shedding from nearby eucalyptus trees. There is additional blowing before each league game, which adds up to hours of loud blowing over the course of the week, during both morning and evening hours. We do not believe the addition of trees with even more maintenance requirements is a good idea for a community park space, particularly one in close proximity to neighboring back yards. What was once a low maintenance area of the park has now turned into the opposite.

Is there not a native, low-maintenance shade tree that would be a better solution for this spot?

Jennifer Massey

Alma Real resident

(Editor’s note: CTN plans to speak to arborist Carl Mellinger this week for his suggestions. Perhaps the shade that is needed adjacent to the bocce courts could be provided by an actual shade structure, which would give immediate relief and, unlike a tree, not take years to grow and maintain.)

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3 Responses to Letters Regarding the Tipu Trees Proposed for the Park

  1. K says:

    Shade structures are a good low maintenance option, but can bounce heat and glare.
    Trees are beautiful and provide cooling as well as shade. Looking forward to seeing what other trees are proposed.



  3. Wharfplank says:

    Rakes and brooms?

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