City Crew Is Cutting Down Deceased Torrey Pine on Long Branch – UPDATED

by on September 1, 2022 · 8 comments

in Ocean Beach

As of this writing, neighbors on the 4600 block of Long Branch Avenue report that city crews are currently beginning to remove the dead Torrey Pine on that block.

Carole Landon-Stone has sent several of work crews sawing off limbs of the tree. And the aftermath.

It could take the crew a couple of days.

This was the Torrey the neighborhood saved — at least twice – over the last decade.

Finally, either through disease, bugs or stress caused by the city’s multiple “trimmings,” the tree succumbed.  Landon-Stone has been trying for weeks to get the city — or somebody — to deal with the tree, obviously dead — before it injured people or property.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie September 1, 2022 at 2:02 pm

Editordude: This post has been updated with photos and some new text.


Kate Bell September 2, 2022 at 8:07 am

Yay! Finally!


Gs3464 September 3, 2022 at 7:08 pm

Rather than doxxing a local community member (who seems to be advocating for public safety) can the OB Rag instead try to be a positive force in this situation and advocate for planting trees in OB?

Balance the negativity and help the community by:
+ finding someone (city arborist/expert/local who knows more than me) who can define “good spots” to plant Torrey Pines saplings today.
+ asking for sponsors/partners who will subsidize Torrey Pines saplings that are planted responsibly.
+ Connect the 2, and help people understand the value of caring for our young and older trees.

As a friend of Niki Carson (killed in 2016 when a dying tree fell on her car in PB) – I appreciate the efforts of the local advocate of removing the Long Branch Torrey. She showed real persistence in keeping people safe – despite you sharing her name twice on your site.

I hope that tree huggers and people huggers can agree that removal of dangerous trees AND planting new trees in safer spaces is a something everyone can come behind.


Frank Gormlie September 3, 2022 at 9:20 pm

Whoever you are, your accusations don’t make sense at all. Do some research on the Rag before slinging dirt.


Geoff Page September 6, 2022 at 12:34 pm

What negativity are you going on about? When this was a healthy tree that some people wanted removed because it was “leaning,” The Rag was part of the effort to save the tree – twice. Do you see that now? No, of course not, because we all knew the tree was dead and had to come down.

This statement, “removal of dangerous trees AND planting new trees in safer spaces is a something everyone can come behind,” is what is called stating the obvious, meaning unnecessary.


Geoff Page September 6, 2022 at 12:39 pm

I am also sorry about your friend. I went to the site and looked where the tree was. On the west side, it was compromised by the building it was up against. But, Torreys have a wide shallow root canopy and a very deep tap root. so the tree could handle the building. But, directly in front of the tree was new sidewalk and new curb and gutter and a very big asphalt patch in the street. There was no doubt in my mind, with years of underground street construction experience, that the city weakened the east side root pattern when it did that work, leaving the tree vulnerable to any sort of western winds.


Gs3464 September 4, 2022 at 10:11 am

I retract my comment about doxing. I now see Carole was using her name publicly. My apologies to you for that.

I *have* been reading the Rag (for a decade +) and your slant on trees is consistent: All trees need to be preserved, no matter their condition. I would like to see the Rag do a better job of advocating tree planting instead of only complaining about trees going down. All live trees should NOT be preserved until they fall down. This attitude causes death.


retired botanist September 4, 2022 at 4:39 pm

GS3464- well, in a perfect world a City govt would follow the requests of the citizens, and the rules of law regarding specimen trees and mitigation for removal. Advocating tree planting?! I’m not sure where you’ve been, but OB is (by my recollective reckoning) now owed a least a couple hundred tress as compensatory mitigation for Torrey pines (and other spp) that have been removed in the past 7 years. Moreover, an action group, specifically HQ’d in OB, collaborated and wrote a handbook (gratis) on urban tree stewardship for the City to use for outreach programs and education. The efforts were featured on a PBS series.
In fact, “complaints” about “trees going down” has a much longer thread than simply a ‘dead tree”. The city has a well-researched and documented chronology of under-performance with their O&M care of Heritage trees, has consistently operated in a “tree crisis by crisis” mode- also know legally as a “threat to life and limb” execution of tree felling, and a tedious history of non-response vis a vis their action on the urban tree canopy goals, and input from local districts. So….while I’m sympathetic to your sentiments as someone who lost a friend from a rare tree fall, I think you’re barking at the wrong dog here :-)


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