UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the project is now scheduled to begin on May 31.
On Tuesday, May 24th the City will begin removing three unhealthy blue gum eucalyptus trees located within the medians along North Coast Highway 101 between Diana St. and Phoebe St.
We understand the community’s concern about losing trees, given their role in sustainability and protecting the environment.
Why do the trees need to be removed?
The City has made every effort to preserve trees that are healthy and followed the City’s ordinance for tree removal. The city arborist identified which trees to be evaluated due to long-term health and public safety and then tree risk assessments were performed on all three trees using sonic tomography. The results concluded that the trees pose a significant risk so they were recommended for removal at the Urban Forest Advisory Committee (UFAC) meeting held on January 27, 2022. The full report can be viewed here: Agendas & Other Meeting Documents (encinitasca.gov)
Could the City move the trees somewhere else along the North Coast Highway 101?
Unfortunately, given the maturity, size and health of the trees identified for removal, the City and the arborist concluded it was not a viable option to transplant the trees in another location. Typically, trees that are replanted have a low likelihood of survival. For this reason, each of the removed trees will be replaced 3:1 with a native or drought tolerant tree, planted within the North Coast Highway 101 median. The removed trees will be repurposed and reused to the extent possible through sidewalk furniture and potential artwork in the Leucadia area so that they can continue to be enjoyed by the Leucadia community for years to come. Revitalizing and restoring the tree canopy along Highway 101 is a major goal for the City. As part of the upcoming Streetscape project, the City will be planting nine new trees in the area to replace the three eucalyptus trees slated for removal.