After a thorough investigation by City forester Brian Widener and his team, it has been concluded that the Torrey pines at 4605 Saratoga Ave. are dead.
“This is an extremely sad day for the Ocean Beach community,” said District 2 Councilmember Jennifer Campbell. “The history of those trees, which were planted by residents during the Great Depression to add more cover and vibrancy to an arid landscape, is part of the history of this community. To the generations of Ocean Beach residents who have enjoyed their shade and beauty over the years, you have my deepest condolences.”
The cause of death for the two trees is unknown and currently being investigated. With the spread of invasive beetle species that are decimating tree populations in San Diego from palm trees to Torrey pines, removing these two trees as quickly as possible is vital to maintaining the overall health of Ocean Beach’s urban canopy, according to the City.
“These two large trees provided a great deal of ecosystem benefits that will not be easily replaced, but more importantly the large historical trees represented civic pride for the OB community,” Widener said. “The San Diego Urban Forestry Program continues to plant new street trees at the community’s request.”
Ocean Beach Town Council President Mark Winkie agreed it was a sad day for the community.
"The Ocean Beach Town Council is saddened to learn that two of the majestic Torrey pine trees on Saratoga Avenue have died and will have to be removed,” Winkie said. “Ocean Beach has a long legacy of protecting our natural environment and these trees have been with us a long time.
“Unfortunately there is nothing more to do and because of public safety they need to be removed. They will however, be replaced by new trees, that in time will grace Saratoga Avenue with a new canopy and a new story," Winkie said.
City contractors are scheduled to remove the two trees by June 26.