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Guest commentary: Pilot tree-planting project on Pearl Street is promising for The Village

For details about Enhance La Jolla and the Maintenance Assessment District, visit enhancelajolla.org.
For details about Enhance La Jolla and the Maintenance Assessment District, visit enhancelajolla.org.
(File)

In recent weeks, the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District continued refreshing landscaping in public right-of-way areas, installing white floribunda roses and evergreen groundcover in planters and tree wells along Girard and Fay avenues.

These hardy plants look good year-round and should prove long-lasting.

Enhanced litter control, trash collection and sidewalk pressure-washing continue and remain imperative to encouraging the cleanliness, health and safety of all those who live, work and play in the district.

A promising new development is a collaboration between LJMAD and The Village Garden Club of La Jolla to acquire, plant and maintain new trees in areas around The Village.

This partnership is kicking off with a pilot project to acquire 21 jacaranda trees for placement in existing empty tree wells and dirt patches along Pearl Street, which is among the district’s most heavily traveled by vehicles and pedestrians.

The Pearl Street pilot planting project began with the garden club purchasing the trees and donating them to Enhance La Jolla, a program funded by donations of $50 from garden club members and members of the public wishing to plant a tree to honor a loved one.

Enhance La Jolla will oversee delivery of the trees from Armstrong Garden Centers on Friday, Dec. 18. Bonita-based Pacific Landcare will then work to install the trees along Pearl between Girard Avenue and La Jolla Boulevard, an effort that is anticipated to take five days. Following the planting, Enhance La Jolla will maintain the trees and pay the costs associated with their ongoing care.

Embarking on this effort requires much planning, collaboration with neighbors and coordination with the city of San Diego regarding tree placement per the La Jolla Community Plan, the citywide tree planting program, the San Diego Accepted Street Tree List and the city’s Climate Action Plan goal to increase the citywide tree canopy coverage to 35 percent by 2035.

Following the Pearl Street pilot planting project, a tree-planting schedule could be developed for the entire district in accord with city guidance. Among city-permissible tree species within the district are ash, sycamore, bottle brush, coastal live oak, eucalyptus, gold medallion, magnolia and crepe myrtle. Many areas in the district are “tree-ready” and have either previously had a street tree or are ready to accommodate one.

The next Enhance La Jolla board meeting, scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, online, will include a presentation from an expert from the city who will discuss the potential value of planting trees in urban areas based on carbon-reduction capabilities and aesthetic appeal.

Looking ahead, the redesigned Enhance La Jolla website is nearly ready to launch. Its rollout will coincide with the launch of a more robust social media presence that will allow for more rapid communication with LJMAD about items needing attention in the district.

Until then, if you see an issue needing attention, please contact Enhance La Jolla at (858) 444-5892 or manager@enhancelajolla.org.

Mary Montgomery is district manager for the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District.