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Scripps Ranch Eucalyptus Trees Iconic, Dangerous

Audio

Aired 8/10/09

Despite the recent removal of some iconic eucalyptus trees in Scripps Ranch most of the trees that remain will be spared the woodsman’s ax.

— Despite the recent removal of some iconic eucalyptus trees in Scripps Ranch most of the trees that remain will be spared the woodsman’s ax.

Some Scripps Ranch residents were angry earlier this summer when a contractor for the city clear cut eucalyptus trees in one area of the neighborhood. Jerry Mitchell is the director of the Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council. He says there was never a plan to cut down healthy trees and that the contractor should have left some standing. But Mitchell says the trees can be dangerous in wildfire season.

“A mature eucalyptus tree will contain over 100 gallons of oil, eucalyptus oil. If they torch, if they catch fire, they will burn furiously,” he says.

Mitchell says many of the trees are infested with a small insect and are dying which makes them more susceptible to fire. He says the trees also fall easily. Contractors are allowed to clear brush and tree shoots in the neighborhood that could fuel wildfires.

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