Sunday, March 22, 2009

Heritage Coast Live Oak Threatened in Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 13, 2009. Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) sprouting new growth on the upper plateau of the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Native Coast Live Oak definitely thrive in the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract. Several are considered "Heritage" trees. In other words, they are more than 100 years old. Most residents cite the trees as the biggest attraction to the living on the hill. Only one of the Red Car Property oaks come close in size to the oaks in the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract.

Coast Live Oak are a "Protected Tree" in the City of Los Angeles, along with Valley Oak, California Black Walnut, Western Sycamore and California Bay trees. Which means, if a developer wants to take them down to build, they have to follow rules set by the City. Whereas, most of the trees at the bottom of the hill are neither significant, nor protected.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 13, 2009. Heritage Coast Live Oaks surrounded by Blue Fiesta Flowers, below El Moran & Peru Streets and the Landacre Cabin. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The developer's grading plan calls for complete removal of the plateau (above photo), right up to the base of the oak tree's trunk. He has not shown how he will retain the slope above once the plateau is removed. His plan will likely be the death of this Heritage oak since the root ball typically extends as wide as the tree canopy. The canopy radius extends a good 25 to 30-feet over the plateau.

This month, we're taking a close-up view of the natural beauty of our neighborhood. All Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract photographs published on the Corralitas Red Car Property Blog in March 2009, are of plants growing on the 3 large lots destined for destruction, if a developer gains final approval of his proposed subdivision.

Neighbors will be back in front of
City Council's PLUM Committee on March 24, 2009.