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Local Stories by Local People
updated: Feb 22, 2013, 10:57 AM

Residents in the 200 and 300 blocks of West Valerio Street were surprised Thursday morning to find crews cutting down apparently healthy palm trees.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 377479P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:04 AM

Sounds like the wrong trees for the location. The real question should be "Who was the dummy that planted the wrong trees in the first place?"

Or better, we should make the electric lines safer and prettier by undergrounding the electric lines and sparing the trees.


 COMMENT 377482P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:15 AM

That is my block, this is crazy, no notice to any of us, I agree with the previous post, underground the lines. We have two telephone poles and two street lights on our parkway strip! Who determined that we needed two poles and two streetlights just in front of one house.


 COMMENT 377483 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:18 AM

Cheaper to plant another tree than bury utility lines. It's also more convenient to cut down a tree than go without utilities. But if you're a resident you want to keep your trees so you'd rather they buried the utility lines than cut down the trees... but not have to pay for it.


 COMMENT 377485 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:18 AM

Apparently being the critical word. According to the article, the trees are dead.


 COMMENT 377489 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:28 AM

With how much money Edison makes off us from using bribes and influence to create a MONOPOLY they should pay to have all the lines in the state put underground.

Imagine the fortune they have since Morgan bribed his way to this monopoly in the early 1900's.

Ever google the free energy machines on the web? Are you telling me we can put things in space but not create free electricity that does not come from a single monopoly?


 COMMENT 377492 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:32 AM

Sometimes I wonder if there are any planners in the planning departments. Wrong trees, too big, too messy, roots push up sidewalks, block views, shed too much ... It can't be this difficult to get the right trees for the right purposes.

Also interesting that Edison can cut them down, my neighbor cut down a dying, dangerous, ugly eucalyptus "without permission" and was fined by the city.


 COMMENT 377498 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:38 AM

LIZBETH, because your neighbor didn't follow the rules. If they had and what you're saying about the tree dying is true, the VERY reasonable planning dept would have allowed that hands down. Either the tree was healthy, or your neighbor didn't follow the rules, the city did nothing but follow the rules. Sheesh.


 COMMENT 377499 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:39 AM

Hey 377489. To what free energy machines are you referring? I have never heard of them. Probably them their monopolies that put the 100 mpg engine on the shelf have done the same to these here free energy machines.

Darn them. Darn them all.


 COMMENT 377503P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 11:48 AM

I wish I had a dollar for every healthy beautiful non-eucalypt tree my silly (ex-)neighbors have removed from my neighborhood, over the past 30 years. Giant trees.

And then---here's the pity of it---they sell their house and move on. But only after cutting down trees that grew for 50 or 60 years before they killed 'em.

More regulation. Protect our trees from idiots.


 COMMENT 377521 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 12:54 PM

Good grief, there's a huge difference between a tree in the area near the street and one within the property. And we need fewer regulations that impact property rights.

There is an easement that allows for the city to dictate what you do with the trees located within 10 feet of the curb (selecting, planting, pruning, removing, etc.) and Edison has an easement about trees that interfere with their power lines. You can complain, but you agreed to these easements in writing when you purchased the home. The property owner can just about do whatever they want with trees that are growing anywhere else on their property (some exceptions for blocking views). If you're a renter, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but on this issue your opinion really doesn't matter (except to vote in/out issues or people that might affect policy).


 COMMENT 377529 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 01:00 PM

521, I'm a renter, and I regularly make my opinion matter by withholding my rent check until the property is maintained to my satisfaction.


 COMMENT 377533 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 01:08 PM

I called to complain to the arborist about a tree having the same issues with the high voltage lines and it took a week to get his response that the tree was not in city inventory and that I had to pay to fix anything. The tree is the same tree the city has all over our block and neighborhood and is in the parkway like all the others. All the other trees are in his inventory except the one in question. How convenient. I'm waiting for it to fall or cause some damage so I have a claim.


 COMMENT 377549 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 01:48 PM

529, LOL. Your landlord can't hear you with the chainsaw running.


 COMMENT 377579 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 02:48 PM

They were non native trees. Looks better without them actually!


 COMMENT 377597 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 03:11 PM

Typical SCE doing this tree removal in the nesting bird season. It's not like those palms grew overnight. This should always be done in the winter.


 COMMENT 377604 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 03:20 PM

549, I'm willing to trade a tree for 6 months living rent-free.


 COMMENT 377614 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 03:36 PM

These were queen palms. The only things that nest in them are rats. They are also old, and have probably been there since before the power lines went in. They were in the parking strip. They are without a doubt the most unattractive and high maintnance palm we have. Once a year they drop little coconuts that are a trap to walk on and a danger to mow, and stop up the sewers. The rest of the time they drop fronds. For this we get a grey column full of staples with a dust mop on top. Years ago, one broke off and utterly crushed a car.
The reason we have 2 street lights is because of the half-way house on the block. One was temporary, and one was the permanent one, and somehow they both stayed. I for one am grateful, since our crime rate in this block doesn't seem to be as bad as those surrounding us.
The question is, are they going to replace the palms with more palms, or something else ?


 COMMENT 377618P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 03:50 PM

Wasn't there a tree trimmer that was electrocuted within the last three years doing one of these same types of trees.


 COMMENT 377669 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 06:04 PM

Yeah 503, more regulation... that's the answer to all of our problems!


 COMMENT 377670P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 06:05 PM

681: If he was "doing" a palm tree, he deserved to be horsewhipped.


 COMMENT 377671P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 06:06 PM



 COMMENT 377679P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 06:25 PM

614: You're wrong about the Queen palms as far as rats go. I have a Queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) in my front yard. No rats. Queens don't make good rat habitat: too far to climb and no "cover" on the way up and down (I think you're thinking of Canary Island Date palms.) Only Acorn woodpeckers, crows, and the occasional Barn owl in my Queen.

I love my Queen. She is graceful and lovely. She provides some shade and definitely "dresses up" the place. The fronds, when chopped up small enough, make for great kindling, too.

The whole "native plants" argument is so stale and specious. Santa Barbara wouldn't be the paradise it is without the exotics. And are you trying to say that a Queen palm is messier than a Washingtonia (native palm?) Puh-lease!

That said, the neighbors should have been notified of this removal. I have had dealings with Tim Downey and I am here to tell you: he is not the arborist that we deserve to have here. I really miss Dan Condon.

Edison is deciding to remove trees now that they are old and established? Heresy.


 COMMENT 377681 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 06:30 PM

618P. The man that was nearly killed while trimming a tree was in an oak tree. Nov 2011. Power line accident.

From what I heard about it, I don't think I would want to survive such an electrocution.


 COMMENT 377682 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-22 06:31 PM

SCE should be under grounding the power lines. That's the real issue.


 COMMENT 377753P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 12:25 AM

I too miss Dan Condon! Such a tree mecca we had here in his day. We still do better than most cities I know. Yes I'm sure 614 must mean date palms, because when their crowns fall they can crush cars, dent asphalt and knock down other trees. Queen palms are much lighter. I also like all our exotic trees; our Australian jacarandas are the prize specimen street tree of all time. 533, yours is such a sad story and one I feel certain would not have happened under Dan (which was precisely why he was fired: he loved trees more than bureaucracy). The upside is, if the tree is in the parkway, I'm pretty sure it's the City's problem regardless of whether it's "in their inventory." If Mr. Downey insists on being so unreasonable, I'd suggest you contact Edison, with perhaps a cc to Madame Mayor.


 COMMENT 377835 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 10:57 AM

I wonder if the city should ban any new palm tree plantings since they go to the landfill when cut due to the grinders getting clogged when grinding plants for mulch.You are not supposed to place palm tree cuttings in the green waste.


 COMMENT 377878 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 02:36 PM

They are queen palms. Nothing nests in them because they are agressively trimmed by the city to clean them up. It was one of these that crushed a car, and the sections were too heavy to lift. It broke off at the base. We get no shade or beauty from them, since they are too tall . They are not washingtonias. We used to have woodpeckers, but edison replaced their power pole nesting sites, and I think they left for greener pastures.


 COMMENT 378911 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-26 02:02 PM

If the City won't allow you to prune the trees in their easement, then they need to come by and do it themselves more than once every 10 yrs. We have a bunch of bottle brush trees on our street that were trimmed slightly several years ago. Since then, at least 2 medium size branches have snapped off in calm conditions and one broke out the rear window of the car. The City told the car owner they didn't have any liability for that.

If they don't have liability, then I will assume responsibility for their trees and have been trimming the ones they recently planted in front of my house. It will never get over 12 ft tall as long as I live there.


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