A Circling the News reader sent a photo of a poster attached to one of the towering eucalyptus trees by the picnic area at the Palisades Recreation Center. She wrote:
“I noticed a sign stapled to a beautiful eucalyptus tree at the park next to the picnic tables and was wondering if it’s going to be cut down.” She added that she had tried to call the number on the poster on Sunday, but there was no answer.
CTN contacted Rec and Parks Forestry Supervisor II Steve Dunlap for an explanation.
He explained how the owners of 825 Alma Real, whose property backs up on the park, contacted Dunlap after they had hired arborist Jerome Smith to examine the two blue gum eucalyptus trees that border the property.
Smith examined the trees and his findings were summarized and sent to Dunlap. Smith wrote, “Given what I have seen, I recommend that the trees immediately be aggressively pruned under supervision of a Registered Consulting Arborist to the same standards as 10 years ago and that they be maintained with the same pruning at least every 4-5 years.
“This re-pruning would involve crown reduction and aggressive reduction of over-extended lateral branches…. This would have a result of reducing its size, making it more compact, with a 20% reduction in height, and increase structural stability and, therefore, make it much less vulnerable to stress from storms and wind,” Smith concluded.
Dunlap told CTN that after examining the trees, he decided that one will be pruned and one removed.
In a July 15 email to CTN, Dunlap wrote: “The posted tree was inspected at the same time as the other tree and was found to have extensive decay and rot around the root crown, the part of the tree that meets the soil. There were also fruiting bodies fungal growths on and around the tree. My tree risk inspector found that the defects noticed on this tree were beyond our safety and hazardous tree standards and that for public safety the tree has to be removed before it fails and falls on the picnic tables. Eucalyptus have poor root systems and any decay or defects triggers immediate action to rectify the hazardous situation.”
CTN asks residents to please alert other residents, so everyone is on the same page about the removal process by the City.