What Happened to the Trees at Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery?

by on November 10, 2010 · 1 comment

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego, The Widder Curry

cemetery tree 02-sm

A tree "trimmed" at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery. Photo by Judi Curry.

Many years ago – twenty-two to be exact – my husband Bob wanted to climb Mt. Whitney for his 60th birthday. At first I was not going to go with him, but as he became more excited about reaching his goal, I decided to train with him.

One of his favorite areas to walk was along Ft. Rosecrans cemetery. The view was spectacular from both sides of the road; it was quiet, and on warm days nothing was as soothing as sitting down under the beautiful trees to cool off, relax, and enjoy the multitude of birds flying overhead. In fact, it was during one of these “training days” that he said that when he died he would like to be buried in this beautiful spot.

Now, 22 years after we climbed Mt. Whitney, he is at Ft. Rosecrans, but it is no longer the beautiful spot it was back then. Sure, things change, people change, but cemeteries usually remain pretty much the same.

But what is happening to the beautiful, majestic trees that housed so many birds; what has happened to the shade for those warm days? Where can families have picnics under those same trees as they honor their loved ones?


Yes, the cemetery is undergoing a “realignment” program. All the headstones will be cleaned up and placed in perfect rows for the future. (Kind of reminds me of the unsuccessful classroom where every chair was in a row, bolted to the floor.) A notice asking for bid went out on July 12, 2010, stating that the cleanup would entail, “Upright Headstone Adjustments, Realignments, Resetting, and Backfill Requirements, Install Control Marker Monumentation, all Upright Headstone Cleaning, and all Turf/ Grass Re-establishment.”

No where does it mention cutting down the trees.

So…after a report from a recent widow friend of mine, I went up to Ft. Rosecrans on Tuesday, November 9th and was pleased to see that most of the trees are still standing.

But the “trimming” of the trees leaves a lot to be desired. It is difficult to believe that the trees will grow back to their natural state. Now it is an eyesore. I have a picture of the tree “before” and “after” the trimming and I cannot see anything wrong with the original tree. But…look at the tree trimming fiasco now. If they are going to only trim “the damaged and diseased” trees we are in for a real problem.

There are a few trees that look “damaged” – see picture – but my 5 year old granddaughter could trim the tree without anyone even knowing it had been trimmed. I shudder to think what this tree will look like after its “professional trimming.” I guess this whole thing is to prevent us “tree-huggers” from having anything left to hug!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Zach on the side November 13, 2010 at 6:51 pm

We “manage” trees as we manage everything else, as if the trees were decorations. More trees should be planted there to sustain their numbers.


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