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CERRITOS MAKES TREES AND STREETS A PRIORITY

 

BY CERRITOS MAYOR MARK E. PULIDO

Mark Pulido

One of my favorite things about Cerritos is the beautiful urban forest of trees that we have at our parks and City facilities, on our medians, and parkways right outside our homes. There are approximately 28,000 trees
throughout our community. Mature, well-maintained trees enhance the value of homes and neighborhoods. They help moderate temperatures, lower energy costs and provide oxygen.

Since March 2016, the Cerritos City Council has committed to an increase in tree trimming maintenance. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, 6,980 trees were trimmed by the City’s contractor, Golden West Arborists, and 1,500 trees were trimmed by City staff, resulting in a total of 8,480 trees trimmed. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the City Council approved an increased budget of $950,000 for tree trimming, resulting in a total of 7,916 trees trimmed. So far in this fiscal year, the City’s contractor, Great Scott Tree Service, has trimmed 1,665 trees, and City staff has trimmed 975 trees.

The City is comprised of 20 tree trimming districts of roughly the same geographical size. The City follows standard tree trimming guidelines provided by the International Society of Aboriculture (ISA), which recommend that, in general, trees be trimmed on average every four years. ISA standards also dictate that no more than 25 percent of a tree be removed during trimming. Severe overpruning is prohibited as it can weaken the health of the tree. 

Staff and City contractors remove approximately 300 trees annually that are determined to be hazardous. The City’s Municipal Code dictates that staff can only remove trees for health and safety purposes. After listening to the tree concerns of hundreds of Cerritos residents before and since being elected in 2011 to the City Council, I was motivated to push for necessary reform of the City’s tree policy.  After great discussion on the Property Preservation Commission and City Council, in 2014 the City Council approved a modification to the City’s Tree Removal Policy, which allows for tree removal if a parkway tree has caused significant damage to private property as supported by an approved claim. The policy also allows residents to pay for parkway tree trimming and/or tree removal by contracting directly with a tree maintenance company that meets City-specified qualifications.  I am pleased that these amendments to City policy have made a difference for many residents regarding their tree concerns.

The City’s comprehensive tree management program, which has been allocated $2,181,370 in fiscal year 2018-2019, includes trimming, removal, replacement, disease management and the identification of problematic trees in urban settings. Our overall goal is to encourage a park-like community through the development of landscaped public areas and open spaces, and to preserve and protect our trees to provide valuable benefits to our community.

Updated tree trimming district maps that track the progress of the City’s tree trimming project are available on the City’s website at cerritos.us. Click on the “Residents” bar on the left-hand side, then select “Public Works” and “Tree Trimming.” For more information on street-tree care or the City’s tree ordinance, call the Public Works Department at (562) 916-1220.

Streets are also a priority in our City. Cerritos encompasses more than 136 miles of paved streets throughout the City. Since 1992, the City has utilized an innovative Pavement Management System to monitor the condition of its streets and to prioritize ongoing street repairs and future expenditures. The City’s system identifies the streets that are in most need of repair and recommends the most efficient way to repair them. Work may range from a minor repair to a complete reconstruction. In the current fiscal year, the City has allocated $948,095 for residential street rehabilitation, $500,700 for sidewalk, curb and gutter rehabilitation and $376,835 for slurry seal of arterial streets.

Last year the City Council awarded a contract to update its Pavement Management System, which is a mandatory prerequisite for obtaining most state and federal funding for infrastructure maintenance. The update also will allow the City to continue to provide the most cost-effective analysis of its streets. The last update was completed in 2012.

The City Council recently awarded contracts for residential street rehabilitation, in the area bordered by 183rd Street, Artesia Boulevard, Bloomfield Avenue and Norwalk Boulevard. The work includes pavement rehabilitation, tree removal and concrete improvements.

A $376,835 contract was awarded to Sequel Contractors of Santa Fe Springs, which will be performing the asphalt work. Golden West Arborists of Pomona was awarded a contract in the amount of $70,560 to remove 62 trees, and CJ Concrete Construction of Santa Fe Springs was awarded a contract in the amount of $500,700 to perform the concrete portion of the project.

The tree removal work has been completed and the concrete improvements are scheduled to be done by the end of November. The slurry seal work is expected to be completed in the spring.

The City places a very high priority on maintaining its streets infrastructure, and will continue to make street enhancements to improve the quality of life for its residents and businesses. 

The City encourages residents and business owners to report any potholes or damaged streets, curbs, sidewalks, medians or gutters in public right-of-way areas by calling the City’s Maintenance Division at (562) 407-2632, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Reports can also be made through the City’s GoRequest app by downloading the application to a mobile device or visiting the City’s website here. A maintenance worker will visit the reported site and arrange for appropriate repairs to be made as soon as possible.

 

 

 

  • jas says:

    Property Preservation Commission to consider development of pine tree reforestation plan Thursday, November 29 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers. Roots are cracking foundations, uplifting garages, plugging sewer lines, crashing on to cars, drinking/cracking pools, pollen are polluting attic HVAC ducts.

    www.loscerritosnews.net/2015/09/06/sept-4-10-2015-hews-media-group-community-news-enewspaper/

    Most of these are Canary Island pine trees in the city, they’re from the Canary Islands, and their noted to be desert drought tolerant very shallow. They did not know that in the 1960s and 70s when they were planted. There are trees what are more deep-rooted these are not one of them. Some eucalyptus have very deep roots others are shallow there’s over 2000 eucalyptus species, mainly from Australia. Mini eucalyptus trees can either be burned down or upgraded, and they’ll regrow new babies. Australia has a lot of wildfires, do eucalyptus trees burn to the trunks ground-level, and then they come up with baby new sprouts. Also some of these pine trees have pine cones almost the size of a pineapple, they are falling and injuring people, people are going to the hospital, plus there breaking many car windows, and also breaking many tile roofs. Those pine cones can weigh a couple of pounds plus when you get them falling 50 2 75 feet a lot of weight coming down

    • jas says:

      Tree Study 11/29 | TV and Live in CCC

      Please remove all pine trees growing on parkways, circa 1960’-1990’s. Girth of the pine trees is larger than parkways, trees are trespassing on to private residence, destroying everything in their paths. Pine tree smell is sick, when there’s a lot of dead pine needles inside the tree, and a lot of them have been killed by the mites, such as spider mites, boring beetles, attacking the trees and the trees emit a horrible horrible smell. Also in June, when the pine sap starts to run, it can be an overpowering odor, especially if you’re upstairs bedroom windows are close to those limbs, smell penetrates attics and upstairs rooms. Some smells are okay, but when your bedroom is adjacent to those pine trees, open window, during hot –overcast-muggy days, the smell can be fatal for asthma patients. Also that Pine dust, a yellowed mustard dust, when it settles in your house, it starts to grow a sooty black mold fungus, and that fungus is horrible horrible smelly and it’s getting into residents attics/insulation/ HVAC. A lot of people who do not wash their windows or their house down occasionally, during the spring-summer months, are starting to witness first-Hand, results of that black sooty mold fungus from the pine tree friable pollen’s falling all over the place. I’ve seen a lot of backyard patios, pools, tile roofs, getting ruined with that black mold. Ants are major problems in/around trees and parked cars. Then, those falling torpedo like pine cones, which hit cars and crack windows. Now that the trees are so tall & brittle on top, Santa Ana winds make the trees top whistle, annoying all night long, when the winds whip thru Greater Dairy Valley.

      Recommend replacing said pine tree forest farms, with a lot of different species, such as palm trees, there’s a lot of medium sized palm trees which look very good. They’re not the traditional looking palm tree, only grow about 15-25 feet high and they look very very good. Wouldn’t have the problems with Leaf fronds and high winds compared to the traditional palm trees.

      Also there’s a lot of taller shrubs, which are not trees, they’re just large growing shrubs, which have a nice canopy on them, don’t have the root problems with these shrubs, only grow about 20-25 feet high and would look nice. One of them would be the Oleander trees they look very nice, lollipop looking Street tree with no root problems. Another would be some of the: Privets, Pittosporums, Viburnums, Hollies, Hollywood Junipers, Hawthorns, they all come in lollipop shape small trees. We have to be more frugal in what we pick the next time around. The yellow Oleander is extremely drought-tolerant, slow-growing, and I understand it is not poisonous.

      Next time PPC visits an older neighborhoods, where there’s a lot of homes around a 100YO; look at some of the larger shrubs, they’re very nice, they’re slow growing, and they have a nice shaded canopy. Most would fit very well in to our small postage size blvds.

      Also, PPC needs to pick one or two shrubs for all the parkway’s boulevards, throughout the city of Cerritos, so people could do away with their grass boulevards and just have a dwarf ground cover or dwarf shrub, drought tolerant, to cover all the landscape Parkways throughout the residential neighborhoods. It would look a lot more uniform and it would cover up a lot of sins from the past tree roots, tree stumps, and the mounding dirt boulevards.

      Our boulevard conditions, are a killer now, they’re not very walking friendly. If we had some juniper ground covers that would look good, some dwarf natal Plum ground cover both would be a good drought tolerant, some of the dwarf cotoneaster are good, many of the Jasmine’s are great also.

      There’s a host of plants, Southern California probably has the most opportunity for Horticulture plants compared to anywhere else in the nation. We just have to think outside the box. What we have now, does not compliment our neighborhoods anymore.

      One step further, most grass Lawns can be reduced or eliminated and covered with shrubs or ground cover, would look more uniform. The days of hiring gardeners to mow grass and to water grass are coming farther and farther apart. We’re not producing that many gardeners anymore, and with these small postage side yards, front yard patios would look good along with a lot of low-growing ground covers and dwarf shrubs.//