Monday, August 20 , 2018, 6:31 am | Fair 64º


Local News

Caltrans Replacing Grove of Purple Leaf Plum Trees Cut Near Fairview Avenue in Goleta

Dead and diseased trees along Highway 101 were conspicuously removed, but new landscaping is being planted in the area

Tree-planting project along Highway 101. Click to view larger
A grove of new purple leaf plum trees being planted Monday at the Fairview Avenue onramp to Highway 101 in Goleta to replace similar trees that were cut down because they were dead or diseased. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

Caltrans cut down more than 100 dead and diseased purple leaf plum trees lining a stretch of Highway 101 near Fairview Avenue in Goleta, leading people to ask what happened to the suddenly-empty plot of dirt. 

Inconsistent irrigation and the drought took a toll on the health of the trees in the orchard, according to Caltrans District 5 spokesman Jim Shivers.

“These trees had a type of borer beetle and were diseased,” he added. “We do have a plan in place to replant in this area.”

Caltrans has been installing irrigation, and on Monday began planting new plum trees and yellow climbing roses on the site, which is on state property on the north side of Highway 101.

Crews also is doing plantings on the southbound side, according to Caltrans landscape supervisor Paula Kilgore-Voigt.

Some of the newly planted varieties include pink oleanders, silk tassel bush and flame vine.

Small excavator planting trees. Click to view larger
A small excavator is used to plant purple leaf plum trees and other vegetation along Highway 101 at Fairview Avenue in Goleta. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

Funding for the more than $800,000 project comes from the State Highway Operation and Protection Program, which covers various roadway improvements, Shivers said.

The tree replacement project includes all planting, new irrigation and plant establishment for three years, according to Shivers.

The Sonora-based Central Coast Financial Group will continuing the planting effort this week.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Small excavator planting trees. Click to view larger
A small excavator is used to plant purple leaf plum trees and other vegetation along Highway 101 at Fairview Avenue in Goleta. (Joan S. Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

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