Questhaven Park Tree Removal Follow-Up from San Elijo Hills Community Association (HOA)

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by HOA Community Manager (Rebecca McDonald) on Aug 02, 2022 4:02 pm
Questhaven Park Tree Removal Follow-Up
Walters Management has received some concerns from homeowners regarding the tree removals at Questhaven Park. The following is some additional information regarding the concerns shared with Management.

Van Dyke Landscape Architects (VDLA) and Tree of Life Consulting were retained by San Elijo Hills BOD to assess the condition of the trees surrounding the playground area at Questhaven Park and came to a consensus that some trees should be removed at this time as part of a long term plan to preserve the shade at the park and eliminate further damage to the concrete curbs and pathways surrounding the play areas.

The two primary tree species that exist along the perimeter of the playground are Koelruteria bipinnata – Golden Rain Tree and Tipuana tipu – Tipu Tree, both very large, deciduous trees.  Each tree was assessed for its branching structure, placement and root damage to adjacent hardscape.  Many of the trees had very poor form, and some had root intrusion in and below the playground concrete apron, which were flagged for necessary removal in order to stop any additional damage.  Removal of these trees will also eliminate the entangled nature of the overall root structure, overlapping canopy and allow the existing trees slated to remain to thrive with the additional space, light and airflow further letting them expand.  In addition to promoting health to the remaining trees, the tree removals allow for new trees to be planted at the park for the next generation.  Large specimen Podocarpus gracilior (see attached jpg) are proposed to be planted in the new openings left by the tree removals.  These trees are less invasive with roots and an evergreen species which will provide year-round shade, compared to just the summer shade provided by the current deciduous trees now.  In addition to their evergreen nature, the Podocarpus gracilior is a very clean tree, minimizing leaf litter in and around the playground. Because these tree removals are primarily on the east side of the structure, they currently provide little shade to the play structure during the peak hours of the day. 

Both Tree VDLA and Tree of Life Consulting agree that this plan of action is the best course to retain a tree canopy at Questhaven Park. A third company, Forestry Group, was awarded the contract for removal, and a fourth company, OCLM will be responsible for the replanting and renovations. Further delay in caring for these trees will result in a decline of all of them, eventually resulting in a combined removal / replacement program leaving the park with no mature trees and small new trees which will not provide shade for years.

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