Torrey Pines – Are they leaning or growing at a slant?

by on December 3, 2010 · 5 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

When we went to the Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting on Wednesday night one of the arborists, Theron Winsby, brought up a interesting point. Is the Torrey Pine on Longbranch Avenue leaning or is it growing at a slant? His partner, Monique Bowen, brought her camera to the meeting to show the board a series of photos she took of Torrey Pines in Del Mar and she has graciously allowed us to share them with you.

I took two of those photos and one that we had, taken by Jeff Stone, and placed them all together so we could see how common it is for these types of trees to grow at a slant. Click on the image to view it full size in your browser. I picked these photos because the trees are roughly the same size and growing at a similar angle.

It is obvious that some of the trees in the photos below may have leaned over the years but most of the ones pictured here are simply growing at a slant. Take a look and let us know what you think. All photos below by Monique Bowen, click on each one to view them individually.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Patty Jones December 4, 2010 at 9:09 am

In just case it wasn’t clear, the photo that I stitched together are of two trees in the city of Del Mar and the one in the center is the tree on Longbranch Avenue in OB.


avatar Pat Flannery December 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

The poor tree is merely taking the name of the street “Longbranch” to heart, it is extending a hand of friendship in form of a “long branch”. We would kill it for that?


avatar Frank Gormlie December 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm

The point of Patty’s post and of Monique’s pics ought to be re-iterated as it’s so important: Torrey Pine trees are rugged, hearty survivors that can grow at a slant if they have to. Just because they appear to be “leaning” to us humans, doesn’t mean they are about to crash or tumble over. There is not one report of a Torrey Pine tree or limb crashing down and killing one of us.

A Torrey Pine on Saratoga did fall over back in the Ninties, I believe, and damage a house.


avatar Sarah December 4, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I read somewhere that the street isn’t wide enough to allow the sidewalk to be repaired and built around the tree without going on to private property. I wonder if anyone has heard what the property owner has to say about the tree.

If it were my property I’d be happy to grant easement to the tree and the city could repair the sidewalk and maybe fix up my fence or something nice in exchange.


avatar Patty Jones December 5, 2010 at 9:55 am

I wonder, why does the sidewalk even have to be flat? There could be something placed over the root (like a piece of concrete pipe cut in half?) to give it room to grow in the future without putting pressure on the sidewalk above. Then the sidewalk could ramp up gently over it.

There was talk of compliance with ADA regulations. Clearly the sidewalk is not in compliance now and has been on the city’s “fix-it” list since 2007. It took that tree 80 years to raise the sidewalk that much. I don’t see why we can’t go over the root with a new sidewalk instead around it.

And I’m with you, I would happily grant the easement also.


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