The Saratoga Torrey Pines and the Sidewalks Below

by on December 10, 2010 · 7 comments

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach


Looking up the hill and east, 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue.


There are eight Torrey Pine trees on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue in northeast Ocean Beach.  They were planted there in the Thirties while there was a Torrey Pine nursery on that block run by the Cobb family.

Of the 8, there’s five giants. They could be some of the tallest Torrey Pine trees around.  These beautiful giants have huge root systems that have been playing havoc with the adjacent sidewalks for decades.


Looking down and west. 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue. (All photos by Frank Gormlie.)


A number of years ago, the City moved to take the Saratoga Ave trees down but was met with opposition from the community.


Here, the sidewalk was re-constructed to curve around the Torrey Pine.


A deal was made – the City would tear-up the old sidewalk that was being buckled and construct new slabs of sidewalks that worked around the trees and had metal grates that were flexible with the future growth of the trees and their roots.

In fact, at one site the City built a bridge over the roots using one of the metal grates.

We’ve put together a gallery of photos of the sidewalks on this block of Saratoga. Check out these pics of how the sidewalks were managed in order to save these municipally-protected trees.  (Click on the pics for a larger image.)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie December 10, 2010 at 9:30 am

Do you see how foggy it was in OB yesterday? The rest of the County wasn’t like that.


dave rice December 10, 2010 at 11:37 am

It’s been even thicker in the mornings lately, can hardly see half a block…the sun normally comes out on my way to work somewhere around the bridge under the 5.

Anyway, nice work with the photos illustrating what can and has been done with regard to sidewalks and trees coexisting.


La Playa Heritage December 10, 2010 at 9:48 am

Great photos. Solutions can always be found.


bodysurferbob December 10, 2010 at 10:32 am

thanks for giving us the pics. you really gotta look at them carefully to see what the city did yesteryear to save these trees.


Seth December 10, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Hopefully, there is something along these lines that can be done, but people should note the difference in street widths between Saratoga and Long Branch. It was suggested during the last OBPB meeting that a similar strategy may involve going into the front yard of the homeowner at 4633 Long Branch, who as far as I know, has not yet spoken on the issue.


Dorothy Lee December 11, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Along Long Branch and Saratoga, there is also a difference in the planting-strip widths, with Saratoga’s being a bit wider and more accommodating to full-grown trees. Easy to see in Google street view.
Up Long Branch toward Froude, there is at least one small pines that already slants way over the street, probably in search of better sunlight. Someone should stake it upright, now.


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