Love where you live!
LA MESA -- After crews recently removed virtually all the trees along the section of La Mesa Boulevard currently under re-construction, some local residents became concerned about plans for trees in the new design of this city's historic downtown.
Though the city has said throughout the project planning that trees needed to be replaced, city officials issued a new statement to help citizens who may not have paid attention before with the reasons for the removal and plans for the replacements.
Here is the city's latest statement, printed in full:
Perhaps no feature can enhance a street more than a tree. Street trees make a street more aesthetically pleasing, slow traffic, provide shade, improve walk-ability, reduce storm water pollution, provide a buffer and enhance sense of place. Growing healthy trees in the Downtown Village has been a challenge. La Mesa is ‘blessed’ with hard soil and a lot of rock (affectionately known as La Mesa cobble). The trees that survived in the village tended to have invasive, shallow roots that did not get along well with concrete sidewalks or buildings.
In an effort to ensure successful new tree growth, the proposed design will incorporate enhanced, subsurface tree root development areas. This will be accomplished by bringing in select top soil and placing it beneath the planting area and the sidewalk areas utilizing innovative structures called Silva Cells. These enhanced planting areas will also assist with complying with storm water treatment requirements. In order to obtain sufficient space for successful tree growth, trees will need to be located within bulb outs that are located at the intersections. Most intersection bulb outs should have sufficient, conflict free space for two trees at each side of the intersection on La Mesa Boulevard.
Tree species will be selected based on input from West Coast Arborists La Mesa’s tree maintenance contractor as well as the tree maintenance contractor for many other Southern California agencies. West Coast Arborists has significant experience with site specific tree selection. The trees on La Mesa Boulevard are planned to be good for the urban environment, evergreen, low root damage potential, drought tolerant, and have a tendency to grow vertically when young so that the tree crown can climb above building awnings and storefronts.
Potential species for La Mesa Boulevard may include: Brisbane Box (Tristania Conferta), Cork Oak (Quercus suber), True Green Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia), and Australian Willow (Geijera parviflora) Species for Palm Avenue will be Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia Robusta). Species for the sides streets will be slightly more ornamental in nature and may include: Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinesis) and Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia). Exact tree species will not be selected until the time comes to plant the trees and will be dependent on species availability.