OB Rag Editorial: Leave the Torrey Pine on Long Branch Alone!

by on September 7, 2018 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

Here are four things you need to know about the Torrey Pine at 4633 Long Branch Avenue in northeast Ocean Beach.

One. The tree is not moving. There is at least 1 pin in the tree (possibly 2) placed by the city as an intersect to measure movement; a city engineer told a local resident there has been no movement by the tree, and its not falling. This means the city has data about the tree that demonstrates it is not going to collapse or that it has even moved.

Two. The City wants to chop the Torrey Pine down. This was evident on July 5 when a crew showed up to do just that. If they hadn’t been deterred by local residents, they would have removed it. Plain and simple. And thank you Matt Madruga.

Three: This Torrey Pine has been designated as a Heritage Tree. That means it has a protected status – and the City MUST employ alternative measures to save the tree – and removing it is the very last resort.

Four. This is the same Torrey that was saved by the community 7 years ago. In 2011 the city wanted to remove it but locals – with the aid of the OB Planning Board and Richard Agee – who hired an independent Torrey Pine expert – proved the tree was not diseased or falling. The city eventually installed a curved  and raised sidewalk.

So – to the City, we say “Leave the Torrey Pine alone!”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly September 7, 2018 at 1:25 pm

Yeah, city, you better leave this Torrey alone.


retired botanist September 7, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Thanks OB Rag and Frank for keeping this on the front burner. It should be clear to the City that OB has eyes on this tree, and if the City moves a single muscle to do anything other than go to great lengths to save it, (that is, if it even needs “saving”, since it isn’t failing, and will likely do just fine for another 50 years) there will be consequences.

It is frustrating that the OB community doesn’t have the resources for adequate legal counsel at this point. What that means is that, in the absence of legal representation, OB must rely on the public record and media documentation to demonstrate that this specific tree is protected by endangered species law, is also protected by municipal law, as are all Torrey pine trees in San Diego Co., and is further protected by the City’s own Heritage Tree Program. Thus, doing ANYTHING to this tree that jeopardizes its health would be flagrant negligence of the City’s program and a violation of law.

Can we be clearer than that?


Frank Gormlie September 10, 2018 at 10:45 am

We have heard that the meeting has been postponed, the meeting of the Community Forestry Advisory board on this Torrey Pine; we will wait to confirm it.


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