Sunday, May 22, 2011

City Moves Ruby Lantern Palm Trees to Stop Tree/Utilty Line Conflict - Dana Point, CA

Dana Point Times - City Moves Ruby Lantern Palm Trees

One of five Canary Island Date Palms removed from Ruby Lantern sits atop a tree service truck. Four were scheduled to be replanted across the street and the other at Sycamore Creek Trail. Photo by Pantea Ommi Mohajer
On Tuesday a city-contracted tree service removed five Canary Island Date Palm trees from the Ruby Lantern Parkway and replanted them elsewhere.

City Parks Manager Brian McClure said that the move was necessary as the palms were located underneath SDG&E power lines and the utility routinely tops them for clearance.

Trees located in the public right of way are usually maintained by the city but SDG&E gave Dana Point notice in 2009 that in order to maintain a required clearance of 10 feet between the tops of the trees and power lines they would need to start “severely” trimming the palms.

“Trimming the palms in such a manner damages their health and leaves them susceptible to diseases such as pink bud rot and fusarium,” said McClure in an email. “As the palms to continue to grow, SDG&E will have to kill them in order to maintain their clearance. Given that the palms are worth an estimated $10,000 each, we began working with SDG&E on possible alternatives to topping the palm trees. The city had already looked at undergrounding the utility lines and that proved to be too costly an endeavor. Thus, we had SDG&E investigate the possibility of moving the lines. Unfortunately, the cost to move the line was roughly $500,000.”

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