The Rancho Santa Fe Post

CONE Urges Community to Protect Health of Rancho Santa Fe Trees

At the August 4 Board of Directors meeting, members from the Committee on the Natural Environment (CONE) discussed the state of the Ranch’s trees in a presentation for the Board and community members.

Since the early 1900s, eucalyptus trees have been a staple member of Rancho Santa Fe’s ecological landscape. Unfortunately, years of drought and invasive parasites have proven to be tough challenges to keeping the trees healthy.

Arnold Keene, Field Operations Manager for the Association, explained in a previous presentation to the Board,

“Trees are one of the most valuable assets to our community...and the condition of some trees are very poor.” 

As many in the community are aware, Lerp Psyllid, a pest that feeds almost exclusively on Red Gum Eucalyptus was discovered in the Ranch in 2000. Since then, efforts to rid Lerp Psyllid have not come as far as many would like. The pest is now a fixture in the Ranch’s ecology.

The top priority for CONE and members of the RSF Fire Protection District is to remove dead and dying trees from the Covenant.

Tree San Diego, a nonprofit organization dedicated to urban forestry in the San Diego region, was also in attendance to highlight their coalition with CONE and the over the past year and a half.

Tree San Diego’s mission for the entire San Diego County is to increase the percentage of urban forest by placing the right trees in the right places. Over the past year and a half, Tree San Diego has provided advice to guide the efforts of CONE.

In early 2016, this partnership, along with the Stanford Alumni Club, was able to plant 25 trees in Arroyo park.

Through identification and removal of dead and dying trees coupled with reforestation and education efforts, the coalition will be able to keep the Ranch fire-safe and provide the tree cover that residents are used to.

However, the RSF Fire Protection District can only enforce tree removal within 100 feet of a dwelling unit and the vast majority of trees in the Covenant are on individual properties, which only the private owner has control. If you are a homeowner concerned about trees on your property, please notify the RSF Fire Protection District.

View CONE's presentation below: