OBceans – Prepare to Mobilize to Save Long Branch Torrey Pine at City Forestry Council – Wed., Oct.10

by on October 5, 2018 · 8 comments

in Ocean Beach

UPDATE: The Torrey Pine is NOT on the October agenda!

Three circles of Ocean Beach activists are asking OBceans to be prepared to mobilize to save the Long Branch Avenue Torrey Pine at the upcoming city Urban Forestry Advisory Council meeting, to be held on Wednesday, October 10 downtown.

People are expecting the tree to be on the agenda – and in all likelihood it will be – but it has yet to be absolutely confirmed.

The OB Green Center, Friends of Peninsula Trees and the OB Rag have agreed to work together to mobilize residents and supporters to the City Hall meeting, scheduled for 11:45 am in the Conference Room on the 12th floor, 202 “C” Street, (92101). The hope of course is to show the city the wide-spread support within the community for this particular Torrey Pine, which has been living over on the 4600 block of Long Branch for a hundred years, some say.

The Torrey was originally scheduled to be on the August agenda but the city’s forestry advisor hadn’t prepared his report.

The city had been poised – literally – back in early July to chop the tree down, but local residents stepped in and the issue of its life was punted to the Urban Forestry Council. Virginia Wilson, a member of Friends of Peninsula Trees, sits on the Council representing the area.

And don’t forget, this is the very same Torrey the community saved back in 2010 – 2011.

For more background: go here and here .


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

K.B. October 5, 2018 at 2:26 pm

The girl whose father planted the Torrey Pine Trees on Longbranch, is still alive and a member of the Ocean Beach Historical Society. She watered these trees as a young girl. She tells me , “It breaks her heart that the City keeps cutting them down!” These trees are historical and deserve to live. It was proven to be healthy in 2010, and looks very much the same now.


retired botanist October 5, 2018 at 5:45 pm

For many reasons, I am heartsick to currently be on the other coast, which frankly, regardless of whether you are actually facing north, is not the “right” coast :( . Thus, I’m unable to attend this effort… but if we can’t save the impartiality and integrity of the Supreme Court, can we at least save this damn tree?!
There will be opposition. Why? Because money is everything, and the City will implement the blitzkrieg of “public safety”. There will be “evidence” of leaning, or a water logged crown, or a fractured sidewalk, or children requiring helmets, or sap on cars, or impending disease…we’ve heard it all before…
But this tree is an icon for OB. Trees have symbolized cultures and history for millennia, whether its the garden of Eden, the Bodhi tree, or the Bristlecone pine. The OB Rag has been writing about and defending Torrey pines, and this particular tree, for almost 20 years!
I implore you! Help our representative Virginia stand up for anything it takes to preserve this tree for a few more years! Aside from the obvious environmental functions and services such a venerable tree has provided to OB and the greater good in the past 100 years, its psychological benefits to humans and wildlife are immeasurable.
Insist on thoroughly reviewing the data. Insist that knee-jerk, hasty reactions be checked. Insist on compliance with all its protective laws. Insist on thoughtful discussion and community dialog.
In the face of all the other issues we feel helpless to correct, the life of a tree may seem like a “so what” effort, but when you consider the fact that this tree has been quietly working for us since before Teddy Roosevelt was President in 1901, that’s a national treasure in my book!
Please mobilize and do what you can- you’ll feel really good about it! Thanks! :)


Frank Gormlie October 6, 2018 at 11:42 am

Please – if you are thinking about attending this meeting to show support for the tree, check the OB Rag for future updates.


retired botanist October 6, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Yep, sorry Frank- didn’t mean to incite riot or anything with that mini rant- just want people to CARE about seemingly small stuff! At the end of another depressing day here in the Washington swamp, I just think that local civic action has more “purchase” and productive outcome… :-)


sealintheSelkirks October 7, 2018 at 10:18 am

Here’s another reason that we need trees that most people don’t seem to know about.

Of the 22 major civilizations that have arisen and then destroyed themselves in the last 9,000 or so years on this planet (we are #23), every single one had DE-forestation at the top or near the top of the list of causes leading to their self-destruction. Cut down the trees and watch your world end seems to be something our species hasn’t managed to understand yet. Not too bright, are we?

The latest count by scientists using GoogleEarth and other methods have estimated that we have cut down HALF of all the forests on the planet and most are severely impacted at the present time; that is trillions of trees, folks!

Here’s another statistic nobody wants to hear about forests:

“The world’s rainforests are under attack at a rate of 2.5 acres per second. PER SECOND! Global warming and clear-cutting for growing palm oil and raising cattle are some of the biggest annihilators. The repercussions are devastating. For example, one of the consequences is harmful alteration of hydrological cycles for major grain-growing regions of the planet. But, that’s just the start of trouble.”

Article continued at:

Drought-Laden Rainforests

And this one:

Urging Multi-Pronged Effort to Halt Climate Crisis, Scientists Say Protecting World’s Forests as Vital as Cutting Emissions

“Our message as scientists is simple: Our planet’s future climate is inextricably tied to the future of its forest.”


So OB folks, fighting to save ANY healthy tree is a must as in planting as many as you possible can!

Just a little advice from an old OB/MB surfer living in a industrial ‘investment forest product’ clearcut zone who recently stood in front of the Tri-County Commissioners with my few minute plea (along with others) asking for new zoning laws to stop the rape of these mountains. Spread the love (of the forests that give you life).



virginiamae October 7, 2018 at 3:58 pm

UPDATE: The CFAB agenda for October 10th is posted, and the Long Branch Torrey Pine is not an item. (Not this month…)


retired botanist October 8, 2018 at 7:11 am

Yay…and whew…a close one for sure. But as sealintheSelkirks rightly points out, there is no complacency when it comes to trees, wherever they are and whatever their species. I know you and the OB Rag will continue to keep a close eye on this one- thanks!


Frank Gormlie October 8, 2018 at 11:42 am

Just to ensure everyone got the word: the Torrey Pine is NOT on the October agenda.


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