Local TV Station Stirs Neighbors Up With Report City Was to Chop Down Long Branch Torrey Pine

by on January 24, 2019 · 7 comments

in Ocean Beach

This morning, local TV station Fox5 reported that the city of San Diego was going to have the Longbranch Torrey Pine chopped down. This report stirred neighbors up and a number of them came out to find yellow tape and signs blocking the street around the Torrey on that 4600 block.

Officer Surwilo showed up to monitor the situation.

The contract crews began trimming the tree but had no plans to cut the large tree down. Fox5 has since changed their reporting.

The City’s contractor showed up early Thursday. All photos by Wayne Starker.

Signs were placed yesterday, announcing an “event”. The City has been trying to notify the neighborhood that trimming was all they had in mind.

Neighbors and members of Save Peninsula Trees gather to question city and contractor.

But with the tragic collapse of a Torrey on Monday that killed two visitors – there’s been some in the community calling for all Torrey Pines to be removed.

Most recent photo showing some of the branches trimmed off the Torrey. Photo by Carole Landon-Stone.

While it is a positive thing local TV stations are staying in tune with the story about this Torrey – which the neighborhood saved 8 years ago – and we welcome all the coverage the situation deserves, but neighbors were needlessly riled up this morning.

(Hat tips to Carole Landon-Stone and Wayne Starker.)


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

editordude January 24, 2019 at 10:34 am

Perhaps this wasn’t the best headline to use, but it’s what came to mind as I’m feeling a bit under the weather.


Ol OB Hippie January 24, 2019 at 10:35 am

Nice crisp photos by Wayne Starker. Thanks Wayne for being ‘johnny-on-the-spot’ this morning.


editordude January 24, 2019 at 10:37 am

Second that. And thanks to everyone else who showed up or contacted the OB Rag this morning about this developing story (LindaT, Judith, Carole, Matt, Virginia).


retired botanist January 24, 2019 at 11:01 am

Oh Lordy, frickin’ Fox news. For Pete’s sake, as if there wasn’t enough “chicken little” reaction already. And its not a positive thing when news media don’t get the facts right!

In theory, there should now exist a reasonable conduit for tree information between the City and the various communities through the CFAB Board, which has reps from each district. Its possible, given the recent weather and the tragic accident a few days ago, that the City rescheduled maintenance activities (perhaps abruptly but understandably) to be pro-active in monitoring these larger trees during the winter months.
I feel pretty certain that if the Long Branch Torrey ever gets slated for felling, that Mr. Widener (City Forester) now knows well to inform the OB community first. Or I’d like to think so.
And as long as I’m posting re misinformation: someone named “Ian” made a comment that the Torreys on Saratoga hadn’t been maintained in “4 years, since before the dangerous ones were removed”…
First, the dangerous nature of the removed trees was, and still is, debatable. Second, these large trees don’t necessarily have to be trimmed every year, and third, unless he’s in close contact w/ the City’s admin record of tree visits and assessments, he has no idea whether O&M visits have been made over the past 2 years. A visit does not always include trimming!
Hate to be picky, but this is how people get riled up over the wrong stuff!


Sam January 24, 2019 at 5:31 pm

I just drove by the trees on Saratoga and they appear to my eye to be in pretty poor shape. The roots of these trees have grown over the curb and are spilling into the gutter. They surely can’t be well rooted if that is the case. These trees should be investigated ASAP.


Geoff Page January 25, 2019 at 1:02 pm

Sam, are you an arborist? What makes you think they need to be investigated ASAP? Unless you have some background in this area, it is not very responsible to sound an alarm like that.


Frank Gormlie January 26, 2019 at 7:29 pm

The Torrey pine typically will grow in a contorted manner, because of its constant exposure to the winds and salt spray that come off the ocean. Many of these trees grow from rocky cliffs and outcroppings. The tree has the ability to put down a long taproot and elaborate system of roots. The Blue Planet Biomes website states that a Torrey pine just 40 feet high is capable of having a 200-foot-long network of roots and that even the small seedlings will have a taproot in the range of 24 inches long. https://www.gardenguides.com/107490-torrey-pines.html


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