Removing Your Turf and Sprinklers Due to Drought, Remember the Trees!

As Californians scramble to find a way to reduce water consumption to meet a 25% water reduction mandate, turf removal has become the latest means to accomplish significant water savings. From Santa Barbara to San Diego, with Los Angeles and Orange county in between, turf is being ripped out at a frenzied pace. Considering the rebates offered by the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles and other municipalities, homeowners and businesses are jumping at the opportunity to be reimbursed for turf and spray irrigation removal.  Succulent gardens, Mediterranean, and California natives and other drought tolerant plant materials are being used … Read More

Red Trees = Dead Trees in California National Forest Lands

I recently read an article in the Los Angeles Times Drought Trees 1 , Drought Trees that addressed the tremendous die-off of trees within California’s national forests.  The aerial pictures in the article depict vast areas of red colored trees dominating the forest land.  As the drought continues, the death toll on our national forest lands is approaching record numbers. To date, scientists and U.S. Forest Service representatives estimate at least 12.5 million trees in California’s national forest have been killed due to drought. Unfortunately, scientists expect the die-off to continue as the state heads into the summer season, traditionally the driest months … Read More

Reducing Irrigation During the Drought? Don’t Forget Your Trees!

I have been getting an increased number of calls from people concerned about their tree(s) starting to dieback. They want a certified or registered consulting arborist to evaluate the tree health condition, determine the cause of the tree decline, and recommend treatment options or removal. For the past two to three years, I have noticed the increasing number of declining trees throughout San Diego. Especially noticeable is the tree dieback in the backcountry as well as local canyons and open spaces. Even drought tolerant Eucalyptus, Oak and Pines trees are struggling to survive. The cause of our tree decline and … Read More

A “Super” Way to Watch the Game!

Yesterday, while taking our usual walk through North Park heading toward Balboa park, my wife and I came across these two guys comfortably hanging out watching the Superbowl pregame show underneath towering Eucalyptus trees. They worked for a company that integrates new technologies and were promoting wireless, cable-less TV under the trees! It was really pretty nice to be able to sit under the trees on a beautiful San Diego day watching the game, best of all worlds! PS, I did inspect the trees surrounding the site for any significant defects! PSS, I don’t know anything about their company but … Read More

A Better Way to Protect Trees and Pedestrians

Through a business acquaintance, I had the good fortune to meet with Mr. Christian Rodriguez, a company representative from Blue Drop, Inc.  We met at a downtown San Diego street intersection where Blue Drop, Inc. had a contract with the City of San Diego to replace old cast iron tree grates with their new product called Safe Path. Tree planters within pedestrian sidewalks are typically small confined spaces surrounded by concrete with lots of pedestrian traffic.  Tree grates were installed around the planter pit primarily to protect people from tripping over tree roots.  The grate also allowed watering to occur beneath … Read More

“Arborgeddon” – PTCA Hosts Another Great Seminar and Field Day

The Professional Tree Care Association (PTCA) of San Diego hosted their annual seminar and field day, a two day event on Friday, August 22 and Saturday August 23, 2014. This was the 25th annual event and like many of the previous seminars, this was another informative, educational experience bringing together a wide diversity of speakers and audience! The seminar was on Friday and this years theme centered on the ongoing California drought and ramifications to trees. There were a number of great speakers, starting with Mr. Ron Matranga who provided an overview about trees in times of drought, current and … Read More

Tree Protection Versus Construction Reality

It is not unusual for trees to conflict with infrastructure projects.  Whether a new road or highway, electrical distribution system or cellular tower, these improvements are often located in areas containing existing urban forests.  I often work as a sub-consultant to engineering and landscape architectural firms, providing tree inventories, designing specifications and best management practices (BMP’S), for tree protection during construction, field implementation, and monitoring.

Landscape Contracting Practices Resulting in Trip and Fall Litigation

Landscape design, construction and maintenance, these three building blocks are required for a successful landscape project.  A landscape architect provides a functional, aesthetic design.  The landscape contractor uses the plans and specifications provided by the landscape architect for bidding the project. If awarded the contract, the plans become contract documents that the contractor adheres to during the construction process.  Following construction, the landscape maintenance contractor (who might also be the installation contractor) provides regular ongoing maintenance to ensure the installed irrigation and plant systems operate and flourish. Whether a residential, commercial or public works landscape project, these three separate but … Read More

Landscape Contractor, Do You Utilize Construction Project Management?

(Landscape Contractor Standard of Care, Part 3) In part three of the series of articles addressing landscape contractor standard of care, we examine the role of the landscape contractor during the construction process, the importance of construction project management, supervision, communication and coordination and landscape contractor deficiencies that may result in customer dissatisfaction and potential legal action.

How Did Plants Figure a Way to Survive In Freezing Environments?

I read a fascinating article on how trees and plants evolved to cope with harsh, freezing environments. Fossil evidence depicts flowering plants first survived in warm, tropical climates. As they spread into upper latitudes and higher altitudes, plants needed to adapt to cope with the colder, freezing conditions. Unlike animals, plants cannot just get up and move to a warmer location, nor are they capable of warming themselves. While colder environmental were a challenge, the real problem was dealing with icy conditions. How did plants manage to adapt and evolve to live in such harsh climates? Read the article at: … Read More