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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)


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