Save the trees
It was gratifying to see the neighbors who live downtown come together to save our beautiful Ficus trees, or at least to give them a stay of execution.
In the June 17 story, “Encinitas delays ficus trees’ fate,” John Ugrob stated that the Ficus were “the wrong trees in the wrong spot,” citing “property damage” and “risk to the public.”
Both of these concerns can be met with proper management of the trees, and this (if you’ll allow us the terrible pun) is the root of the problem: the city has allowed these beautiful trees to grow with minimal pruning for decades.
Basically, the trees have been allowed to overgrow their space, and all that is necessary is a thorough pruning, specifically, a judicious thinning of the multiple trunks. This makes perfect sense: anyone with an understanding of plant biology knows that the root/shoot ratio of a tree is always maintained.
These trees have been allowed to grow so big that their roots constantly need to seek out new sources of water, thereby damaging sidewalks, foundations and sewer lines.
Prune back the tops, and the roots will no longer grow invasively as they have done in the past. One neighbor on Fourth Street chose to prune her Ficus instead of killing it and found that this technique really does work.
At the very least, this idea is worth a try, rather than just cutting them all down!
Mr. Ugrob was spot on when he said that these trees are both a curse and a blessing. They provide us cooling shade, beauty and a home for birds, and the best part is that they need no added water, no irrigation to grow and thrive, but they do require regular maintenance.
One thing is clear: the city’s previous policy letting the trees grow unmanaged is no longer an option. Cutting them all down is the wrong choice, unnecessary and damaging to the health and beauty of our wonderful city. Proper management through thinning is required. The cost is not prohibitive and the benefits are multiple and long lasting.
R. Coley McAvoy
Tamira T. Wehsener
Robert and Cathy Orozko
Wood fires on beaches
As people of California we have a responsibility to preserve the legacy of our beaches. Banning Wood fired beach fires is a must to keep our beach’s clean and free of debris and hazardous materials.