Crews Begin Removing Costa Mesa Eucalyptus Trees After One Fell, Killed Woman

COSTA MESA (CBS) — Crews Wednesday began removing 100 blue gum eucalyptus trees from a street on the Costa Mesa-Newport Beach border where a 29-year- old Tustin woman was killed when one fell on her car.

The trees are in a median along Irvine Avenue, which is closed and should reopen Thursday about 5 p.m.

The decision to begin removing the trees was made Tuesday on the recommendation of arborists, city spokeswoman Tara Finnigan said.

“We asked the team of arborists to first focus their attention on the remaining trees,” Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff said. “That has been the priority for the past four days.

“They suggested that the eucalyptus hedgerow that was initially planted many years ago could have been affected as individual trees aged, were removed or fell.”

The cities accepted joint responsibility for the trees in 2002.

Kiff said that although there is a good deal of public affection for the trees, “we believe that the most prudent decision is to remove them all.”

He promised that “we will look forward to working with the community on a new street tree alternative for Irvine Avenue.”

Haeyoon Miller died when one of the eucalyptus trees fell on her car last week.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • RecycleOldTrees

    Could that wood be used to build a home or furniture, or sold as firewood?

    If I were killed by one of those trees, the least they could do is build my coffin from it-it would smell good as it burned.

    Rest in Peace, tree victim!

  • DJ

    They should be removed anyway, as all the Eucalyptus trees are diseased. Notice the sticky little cocoon on the leaves. Most all of the Euks in ca. are spent and absolutely should be removed before they hurt anyone else.
    I am so sorry for this family’s loss of their loved one.

  • duh

    The city removing ALL of these trees is almost tantamount to tampering with evidence. This woman’s family needs the information there to proceed with their potential case against the city. Once they have experts assembled to analyze the conditions, the conditions will be gone and covered up. Brilliant move by the city. If the family is smart, they will get a court order to halt any manipulation of that area until it’s thoroughly investigated; have it designated a crime scene. The city has the right to identify and remove specific trees that are actually a hazard, not ALL of them.

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