- Posted August 27, 2013 by
San Diego, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
SAVE THE 100-YEAR OLD TORREY PINE TREE!
This is not just any old tree but a rare Torrey Pines. These special trees are protected and it is ILLEGAL to cut them down on public property. . With strict conservation, the wild population of Torrey Pines in all the world has now grown to about 2000 trees.
The California Native Plant Society considers them a rare species and it is listed as a species of concern. Wikipedia notes that the Torrey Pine, is an endangered species growing only in San Diego County and on one of the Channel Islands,. They are "endemic to the coastal sage and chaparral ecoregion in the U.S. state of California."
So, this is not just any old pesky tree to rip out of the ground.
Neighbors in the area have taken notice and tree-huggers and hippie environmentalists, of which I consider myself to be, have also taken notice and are working to stop the home-owner from ripping out his Torrey Pine tree.
According to a story on the OB Rag blogsite, Mary Cairns wrote that at first when she saw a tree trimming company pull up, she was happy that some tidying up was about to take place. When she learned that the home owner was going to destroy the pine tree, alarm set in. She wrote a story and it was published online on the Rag website.
Sure the tree was awfully close to some of the San Diego Gas & Electric lines that run above the alley. But a trim of the tree could easily fix that. Mary Cairns noted that "after two days of talking to the owners, the tree removal company, and several arborists, hearing that the San Diego City arborist had stopped by, along with the SDG&E for the wires, we asked that we have yet another discussion of possibly saving the tree, mitigating some of the concerns a neighbor has for tree root damage, etc."
Because this valuable tree is on private property, and located in the back yard, as opposed to the front yard, it is not protected by the city. A cry has gone up that more must be done to help save this beautiful, 100-year old, healthy Torrey Pine. The OB Rag has taken note and are now working together with the neighbors to talk to the elderly gentleman who owns the property where the tree is located.
Local tree activists are involved in negotiations with a number of players here. Efforts to save the tree include attempting to work with the district City Council office, the City Attorney’s Office, the landscaping company that was hired to cut it down, as well as the property owner and his neighbors. If the home-owner is having problems with the trees roots damaging his property., there are ways around that. Locals can raise money to repair damaged pipes and broken sidewalks, if it will mean saving the tree.
Even Mary Cairns noted that for years, the neighbors have all pitched in to sweep up the needles that fall along the alley way and in other yards. Sap from the tree is happily wiped up and debris from the tree falls in a swimming pool next door. Even that is not a problem!
Too many Torrey Pine trees have been lost for one reason or another. One near where I live was cut down a few years ago to make room for a condo parking lot. The pine tree was a roosting and nesting site for many birds that lived in a nature reserve. At dusk snowy egrets would gather in the upper branches and settle in for the night. i used to love watching that.
That's why it's important for the hue and cry to go up on this Orchard Ave. tree. Here's to neighbors, online friends and tree-lovers banding together to help save this noble specimen. After all, it was Joyce Kilmer who so famously said: "Poems are made by fools like me; but only God can make a tree."