50-foot eucalyptus tree in front of Laguna’s Urth Caffe scheduled to come down after years of efforts to save it

Ailing 50-foot eucalyptus tree was finally cut down Friday, 10/11/19. Photo: Jacob Castro / Lariat

Friday, a sick 50-foot eucalyptus tree in front of Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach, finally came down after years of efforts to save it.

The initial request for the trees removal was made by Urth Caffe in 2015. The petition stated the trees declining health and the potential risk to civilians and their customers due to falling branches, etc.

After bringing in arborists, listening to public opinion, and holding on-site meetings to see the health of the tree in person, city officials decided they would develop a plan to save the tree before attempting to remove it. Despite arborists classifying the tree as a moderate to high risk of failure within three to 10 years.

The plan consisted of injections of the insecticide imidacloprid to prevent insects from sucking nutrients out of the tree. As well as cutting to encourage regrowth and removal of the top layer of soil to allow more oxygen for the roots.

Although the plan has helped increase the trees health over the last few years, it hasn’t been enough to save it.

“Over the last year, we started to notice the tree condition was actually declining. About 50% to 60% of the trees foliage appears to be dead or dying,” according to Public Works Director Shohreh Dupuis.

In late September, City Council voted unanimously to remove the tree-based off the city staffs recommendation because the eucalyptus tree became classified as a high-risk of possible trunk or branch failure.

“So the tree is going to be cut down sometime soon. It is kind of bitter sweet for us here at Urth. The thing is that the tree actually became a danger hazard for our customers and we couldn’t have that liability hanging over our head. I hear there will be a replacement tree though so I am excited to see the new scenery.” Said Nicole, a Cashier at Urth Caffe.

The tree was cut down Friday, 10/11/19. A couple of weeks after the bill was passed.

“We are sad to see the tree go. I saw the efforts that the city put towards it to try to keep it around for as long as possible. I hear that they are planning on replacing the tree once its cut down. I hope it can become another landmark for our Caffe.” Said Ronda, a local supporter of Laguna’s Urth Caffe.

Citizens who are sad to see the tree go can rest assure that there will be a replacement for the 50-foot eucalyptus upon its removal.