City removes six 90-plus-year-old trees from Village streets

By Dave Schwab

“There is also a big white X on another two trees further up Girard toward Vons. Slowly, all The Village places of uniqueness, history and wonderment are disappearing. Thank goodness the ocean can’t be trucked up and hauled away! Welcome to Any Commercial Town USA. If this community doesn’t succeed in saving our historical post office, then it is yet one more block in La Jolla that becomes truly unremarkable.”

According to city arborist Drew Potocki, a total of six eucalyptus trees in the area of U.S. Bank — three on Girard, two on Herschel and one on Wall Street — all suffered from the same deteriorating condition as the tree that toppled over last spring crushing one car and damaging two others in front of Mary, Star of the Sea church.

“And based upon the failure of that one tree last spring, we did a thorough analysis of the larger (eucalyptus) trees in The Village last fall and found that all of them were suffering from significant internal decay,” Potocki said. “It’s one of those natural processes trees go through, especially urban trees.”

Potocki said the eucalyptus trees on Girard and environs were planted in the 1920s, making them all about 90 years old. “It was a matter of unknown time before they would have failed,” he said of the trees removed last week.

“But. all the trees that were cut down will ultimately be replaced with trees provided by the city,” Potocki assured. “The species will be determined by the La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA). It’s their call.

“If we can possibly save or retain a tree – we’ll do it. Unfortunately, these trees had to be taken down. Sometimes that’s necessary for the safety of the public in the right-of-way. This was one of those

calls.”

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