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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

City to Discuss Next Phase of Tree Maintenance Plan

BY BILL KOENEKER


The Malibu City Council, at its meeting next week, is scheduled to get an update on the fledgling tree maintenance program that has just got off the ground.
The council is expected to hear about the inventory that was carried out on the trees that are located in the city’s right-of-ways.
The council is being asked to discuss putting together a budget for the next fiscal year for the actual maintenance of the trees.
An urban forestry consulting firm, according to a staff report, was hired to do a tree inventory
and created a computer data base for each tree that includes a photo, GPS location, assessment of the tree, current health, size and recommendation on how it should be trimmed or pruned and priority ranking or its urgency for attention.
The city was urged by the staff to start the program since unmaintained trees can end up to be a liability for the city and can present hazards.
The staff report indicates the second phase of the process is to develop a tree maintenance plan and schedule based upon the trees’ priority ranking and the city’s available budget to perform the work.
“There are many trees located in the city’s right-of-way. These trees improve our quality of life, and in many ways, they are an integral part of the character of our community. When properly maintained, trees can be an important and valued public asset,” wrote Senior Public Works Inspector Arthur Aladjadjian.
“However, unmaintained trees can also serve to be a liability for the city since they may potentially create conditions leading to root intrusions of stormdrains, trip and fall hazards when sidewalk edges are uplifted by roots, falling branches, and impairing site distances at certain intersections and driveways. In an effort to reduce this potential liability, staff identified the need for a citywide tree maintenance program.”
Trees on city right-of-ways reportedly include some of the original Point Dume eucalytus and pine windbreaks that were planted in the 1940s as well as a number of historic live oaks.

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