The City of Newport Beach has asked its tree maintenance contractor, West Coast Arborists (WCA), to remove approximately 100 Blue Gum Eucalyptus trees located in a long hedgerow within the Irvine Avenue median between Westcliff/17th Street and Dover Drive. The tree removal work will start tomorrow, Wednesday, September 21.
As a result, Irvine Avenue will be closed in both directions between approximately 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20 through 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 22. Area schools, businesses and residents are being notified.
Detours will be delineated, likely using Dover Drive or Tustin Avenue. The Newport Beach and Costa Mesa Police Departments are jointly working on the street closure.
A Blue Gum Eucalyptus that stood in this row of trees fell and killed Haeyoon Miller, a 29-year-old resident of Tustin, on September 15.
The decision to remove the decades-old row of trees was made after several arborists, including those from the City of Newport Beach (City), WCA, and an independent arborist retained by the City last Friday, analyzed the entire row of the remaining trees during the past several days. The independent arborist notified the City of his recommendations late this afternoon.
“We asked the team of arborists to first focus their attention on the remaining trees. That has been the priority for the past four days,” explained City Manager Dave Kiff. “The arborists called for the removal of the trees. They suggest that the Eucalyptus ‘hedgerow’ that was initially planted many years ago could have been affected as individual trees aged, were removed or fell.”
Kiff added, “While we in the community have great affection for these significant trees, we believe that the most prudent decision is to remove them all. We will look forward to working with the community on a new street tree alternative for Irvine Avenue.”
The September 15 accident happened at the boundary line of the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. The boundary line runs down the center of the median in which the tree was planted. Under a 2002 agreement with Costa Mesa, Newport Beach maintains the median and the trees within it.
City of Newport Beach | www.NewportBeachCA.gov
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