Here’s the City’s Response to the Killing of Palm Trees

by on April 25, 2022 · 9 comments

in Ocean Beach

City of San Diego Senior Public Information officer Anthony Santacroce issued the following statement Monday, April 25, in response to media inquiries:

“The City of San Diego removed five palms on Newport Avenue this morning at the direction of the FAA and the San Diego Airport Authority. The trees removed today presented an urgent threat to flight paths and aviation operations that impact public safety and economic health of San Diego.

We understand the community’s concern and thank them for their passion and understanding. With the help of the surrounding community, the City looks forward to planting new trees in place of the former palms that will continue to provide environmental benefits for years to come.”

Here’s 10News account:

Ocean Beach residents upset over City of San Diego’s removal of palm trees

By: Marie Coronel

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Some Ocean Beach residents voiced their displeasure towards City of San Diego crews as they removed several palm trees on Newport Avenue Monday morning.

Residents who live on the street woke up Monday to a notice from the city informing them that the trees were coming down.Tracy Van De Walker, who has spearheaded the effort to protect the palm trees, said, “I’ve shed quite a few tears this morning. It’s hard because it’s 110 years that’s gone in five seconds. And it’s a shame that there’s no recourse on it at this point.”

Since last year, residents have been fighting to keep the palm trees where they area. The city said they had to come down due to safety concerns that could impact instruments on airplanes or at San Diego International Airport, adding the issues could possibly lead to flights needed to be rerouted.

According to Van De Walker, the lawyer representing the residents had filed a lawsuit seeking to keep the city from cutting the trees down.

A court hearing on the matter is scheduled for this summer.

ABC 10News reached out to the city, and a spokesperson said they received a letter from the FAA and San Diego airport officials citing these specific trees must be cut by the end of the week or else airport operations would be affected.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie April 25, 2022 at 12:58 pm

That is the most ridiculous reason for cutting down iconic trees I’ve ever heard.

I can see if the trees were sick or dying but this is NUTS!

This smells rotten!


Sam April 25, 2022 at 3:43 pm

But why those trees on that street only? Is there an imminent flight path change in the works or are they going to start cutting down all of the trees on the surrounding blocks?

I may be wrong but it is my understanding that is not in the current flight path. I’m pretty sure that when the flight approach is reversed the planes are flying about 6 blocks north of there, somewhere around Brighton.

This fish stinks from the head!


Katie April 25, 2022 at 4:49 pm

I agree. It’s really suspicious.

What are they going to replace with and who are they going to purchase them from?



virginiamae April 26, 2022 at 2:54 am

Katie, They are not going to replace them; they will not provide even stunted saplings decades from maturity. Has the promised mitgation begun for the Torrey Pines removed in 2015 and 2016? Has anyone witnessed a condemned tree being replaced? Will someone please prove me wrong?


Katie April 26, 2022 at 5:03 am

The city needs to address these questions.


Chris April 26, 2022 at 3:23 pm

Don’t hold your breath.


Fstu April 26, 2022 at 8:14 am

I agree I live North on Longbranch and that is the flight path especially for landing in a santa ana


Sam April 25, 2022 at 3:45 pm

Also, why would they only take down 5 of the 30 or so that are on that block?


Katie April 25, 2022 at 4:47 pm

Either being vindictive or did the people who lived at those residences want them removed and got the city to do it for them?

I do not know, it does leave questions.


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