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TREES, PLEASE! COE Tree ID Five Four Six Four

By Tim Clancy, for Let’s Talk Plants! January 2024.

WiX stock photo.

COE Tree ID Five Four Six Four

In the City of Encinitas (COE) most of the city owned trees are inventoried and mapped and have been assigned an individual identification number. This is useful to track tree work, tree condition and, because it is mapped, also diminishes the chances of a mix up.

The City of Encinitas Tree ID 5464 is located on Beechtree Drive in Encinitas. It is an Italian Stone pine and by far the largest tree on that street. As a patron of that fine dining establishment known as McDonald's, I frequently travel on Beechtree to purchase sustenance at the McDonald's on Encinitas Blvd. in the Sprouts Plaza. This is how 5464 got on my radar.

I have been admiring this tree over the years, more than twenty at least. The first tree I ever planted was a 48” box Italian Stone pine, Pinus pinea, on the estate of San Diego Philanthropist Joan B. Kroc. Yes, that Kroc. Before we go any further, I patronized McDonalds long before I knew who Joan Kroc was and have continued to patronize them since her passing.

Besides planting trees on her Fairbanks Ranch Estate, I also had the good fortune of being hired by her to maintain her seventeen-acre estate garden (along with ten full-time employees). As you can imagine I am familiar with how Italian Stone pines “perform” in our area. We only had them pruned for clearance conflicts such as growing over the cart path or roofs, etc. This pruning was not much. I watched the first tree I planted (along with seven hundred more trees of various species about forty of which were Italian Stone pine) for the next sixteen years. Italian Stone pines love the San Diego climate. They are well behaved stately trees.

5464 was cruising along just fine doing its thing being green, sequestering carbon and contributing to the community in the many intangible ways as trees do. It looked so good that I decided to take a picture of it one day in May 2022 just because.

Italian Stone Pine 5464 May 2022. Photo credit: Tim Clancy.

You can see in the photo dated May 2022 that the tree is a deep dark green and looks pretty much how it should considering the fact that it has in my opinion been over pruned.

Sometime in late 2022 or early 2023 things started to change for 5464. The changes were subtle and hardly noticeable at first. A few needles browning here and there, part of the canopy changing from deep green to chartreuse.

I went on an In-N-Out kick and didn’t visit the McDonald's for a few months while my burger cravings were satisfied by a number 2 with an animal style burger and diet coke.

One day in November 2023 on my way to McDonald's for the 2-cheeseburger meal I made my way from Cardiff checking trees as I went and eventually turned onto Beechtree Drive. As you can see in the photo 5464 was by that time 50% afflicted and now in a state of decline.

Tree ID 5464 2023 - Notice Right Side vs, Left Side of Canopy.

I sat there on Beechtree and contemplated whether or not to tell the owner of the house near the tree what was happening. I knocked on the door and he came out and I proceeded to tell him what was happening. (This is something I struggle with regularly. I see so many things that I am sure people would like to know but am just not sure about approaching people.) In this case I had worked up the courage because I thought that maybe, just maybe, a treatment could be started and maybe the tree would respond. This whole time I was under the impression that the 5464 actually belonged to the homeowner. It turns out that it’s a City of Encinitas tree.

Tree ID 5464 Canopy Thinning 11/23.

The homeowner has been in touch with the city and apparently someone is checking things out...

Tree ID 5464 Canopy taking on chartreuse color 11/23.

Tim Clancy & Associates LLC

P.O. Box 1180 – Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007

 International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist No. WE-0806A

 International Society of Arboriculture - Tree Risk Assessment Qualified


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