The Douglas Family Preserve, a 70-acre City of Santa Barbara open space park, sustained some tree damage, including the loss of a 70-year-old Monterey cypress tree, during the significant wind events of April 6-7.
In addition to wind gusts in excess of 50 mph and its unprotected bluff location, the tree’s root system was compromised due to soil compaction. This area of the park is a popular coastal bluff overlook for park users and, as a result, has highly compacted soil and limited vegetation.
Consistent with the Douglas Family Preserve Management Plan, the Parks & Recreation Department will leave the fallen tree in its current location. Since the tree and its location are iconic for many residents, the city will plant a young cypress tree as a replacement in the fall.
At that time, the department will be seeking assistance from park users to protect the tree as well as provide it with water since there is no irrigation in the park. More information will be provided closer to the planting date.
The new tree will also take the place of a tree that was recently planted without permission from the department. This tree, a Hinoki false cypress (Chamaecyparis obtuse), is a species of cypress native to Japan. The department removed the tree since it is not native to California and not in compliance with the Douglas Family Preserve Management Plan and the city’s municipal code.
For more information, call parks manager Santos Escobar at 805.564.5464.
— Santos Escobar is the parks manager for the City of Santa Barbara.