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Cerritos Council Will Consider Massive City Reforestation Plan

Thursday January 10, 2019


Tree City USA has become Tree Problem USA with the Cerritos City Council taking serious steps at tonight’s regular meeting to begin mitigating the wide-ranging problems that come with the moniker Tree City.

Cerritos has over 4,100 pine trees within its borders- many dropping needles, cones, while bleeding sap, causing what the City calls “a negative impact on residential areas.”

In November 2017, the City Council, led by then-Mayor pro tem Mark Pulido and Councilman Frank Yokoyama, directed the Property Preservation Commission to evaluate the trees in and adjacent to the City’s residential streets.

One possible action would be reforestation, the removal of many pine trees in the City in favor of trees that have less negative impact.

In March and November of 2018, the PPC conducted a study of the pine trees and found that “they are not appropriate for residential areas.”

The next step was to determine the number of trees and a reforestation plan.

The PPC worked closely with Great Scott Tree Service and found that 2,964 were causing problems in the City’s neighborhoods.

The commission concluded that the negative impact of the pine trees on residential areas far exceeded the positive environmental impact and recommended reforestation.

Remove and Replace

The reforestation study now turned to assessing the impact of removal on area neighborhoods and estimating the cost to remove the trees.

A project of this scope would be completed in phases as determined by the PPC and City Council. City officials would want to minimize the aesthetic and environmental impacts, the only feasible way to accomplish that is to contract with a large tree service who could remove and replace all of the pines on any given street at one time.

City staff then outlined cost for tree removal, tree replacement, and probable repairs to surrounding sidewalks.

It was estimated that a single tree removal and replacement would cost $1,650, for a total of nearly $4.9 million, 2,964 x $1,650.

“Problem trees” would cost the City an additional $8,540 for curb, gutter, street and parkway repairs, for a total of $10,190.

Of the 2,964 trees that need to be removed, 60% (1,778) would be classified as problem trees and could cost the City over $18.1 million, 1,778 x $10,190.

Adding the nearly $2 million to remove and replace non-problem trees and the reforestation would cost the City over $20 million.

“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.” – Joyce Kilmer

Many trees were considered for replacement at the PPC’s November 2018 meeting that would fit the standard five-foot residential Cerritos parkway while “emphasizing variety and diversity of species.”

Some included the African Tulip, the Chinese Tallow, Red Oak, Yew Pine, Magnolia, Brisbane Box, Sweet Bay, Crape Myrtle, Pink Trumpet, Honey Locust, and Eastern Red Bud. Examples can be found at the end of this article.

City Councilman Frank Yokoyama told HMG-LCCN, “As a City Councilmember, I have been committed to taking important actions regarding our City parkway trees. Listening to our residents, I provided leadership to again call for a pine tree reforestation plan. I have focused my attention on addressing the numerous tree-related concerns of many residents. Furthermore, I was the only City Council candidate who called for a pine tree reforestation plan back in 2017. I am committed to finding a policy solution for this pine tree dilemma that has not been resolved by the City for decades.”

The council will consider the plan at tonight’s regular City Council meeting.





  • jas says:

    Cerritos | TREE REFORESTATION | Jan 10 | Open to Public
    Mello Roos Bond- Street Light Tax- City Sales Tax ?

    Cerritos | TREE REFORESTATION | Jan 10 | Open to Public
    Cerritos | Pine Tree Reforestation Public Hearing | Thurs Jan 10 |

    Cerritos Residents are guaranteed that the future will bring changes. December 2018, one assistant city manager retired. Shortcoming, the city manager and assistant city manager will be retiring and replaced. They’ve been associated with the city for almost fifty years. 2020 election, will bring new councilpersons.

    Thursday, January 10th, the Cerritos City Council are going to talk about tree reforestation. It is open to the public for comments. Please attend.

    There are approximately 4,000 pine trees located on residential boulevards which will be a topic of discussion. The city has had multiple tree reforestation study sessions, and now council will discuss about a resolution. One of the resolutions is $18 million dollar budget to remove and replace and repair all 4000+ Pine trees in the city.

    Well, will this $18M budget be subtracted from the $100M reserves, or in the form of a proposed Mello Roos Bond tax or will it come out of the existing street light tax? Do we really need all 4,000 pine trees replaced, because some of these pine trees in this count, are blocking: Street light poles, intersections, placed onto small areas, plus some properties have multiple pine trees located on them.

    Existing pine trees are trespassing onto Residential Properties, creating all kinds of financial ruins not only to the properties, but also to the many tile roofs on the 15,000 Homes located in the city of Cerritos. Cities utility infrastructure is being attacked by tree roots.

    Alternative proposal is to replace the existing pine trees with deciduous trees, said Deciduous pine trees will have an annual Leaf Dropage problem, and not considered sustainable landscape materials. Since the city Residential stocking is 1/3 residential rentals, how are the (Landlords – tenants ) going to cope with maintenance of deciduous trees?

    Also many of the proposed trees will have a diameter of 30′- 50′ spread, and that too will eventually start blocking our street light penetration. Please plan on attending this city council public hearing on tree reforestation. Also need it to be discussed is the following wish list. Cerritos is not going up hill, city housing and public works are failing. Do we need a Mello Roos Tax, sales tax increase or street light tax increase or a city owned bank?

    A historical preservation ordinance. Cerritos needs a policy with teeth for the protection of our historical properties. FAC needs to be more diverse in to history and stop A/Z arts. FAC never discusses our rich history.

    Adequate parking for all housing. Vacate the over night parking permits. Tired of seeing driveway parking lots and burdened with over night parking permits, which is costing big bucks to administer.

    Commission appointees need more diversity, more younger residents.

    Completion of 2 bridges: Del Amo, Marquardt.

    Dog park. If it were up to me, we’d replace the parts of the Regional Park / Liberty Park with a dog enclosure.

    Less partisan politics. Local elections have traditionally centered around local issues, but we saw a disturbing trend last year with national politics creeping into our CCC elections, and that’s scary. It shouldn’t matter if our city council or school board representatives are Democrat, Republican, or any other party. Their vision for Cerritos going forward, and track record of meaningful contributions to the Cerritos community, takes precedent over their political leanings.

    Live streaming of the 2 committee meetings: Safety and Let Freedom Ring. 50 % Seniors create 50,000 populous, but are too old to attend.

    More restaurants: espec. Steak houses.

    Neighborhood watch programs are decreasing, because of internal fighting etc. Needs digestion of Mgmt. / over sight for the NWP> otherwise, it should be vacated.

    Remove all Blvd pine trees and replant today and not tomorrow concept.

    Senior Center needs digestion from regional reciprocation.

    The return of the CWP and more money in to budget for municipal landscape. I’m going to wish this into forevermore existence. Updates to the PPC, it is run too much like courthouse drama and we are not learning how to create better properties. PPC needs more visuals and more education and stop bashing of residents.

    Vacate CCPA until we can afford it, the CCPA has robbed the money from Public works budget.

    Cerritos | Pine Tree Reforestation Public Hearing | Thurs Jan 10 |


    • jas says:

      CERRITOS | Tree Reforestation Review- Update………….

      City council had an open discussion regarding tree reforestation. Dialog last 10 minutes. The staff report walked all over the place, numbers ranged anywhere from: $18M-$23M; to remove –replace- repair the pine trees. There would be approximately 3000 pine trees in question.

      CCC did not have much of an open debate, the mayor did speak about the tree reforestation, along with a 2nd council person, but the other three councilpersons didn’t want to participate, they were all elected persons of very few words. Never debated the budget, they never debated Public Works, they never debated where the appropriated funding for this program . CCC just filed the report. CCC showed little to no interest to further investigate tree reforestation.

      Cerritos residents from the audience, few protested about proposed deciduous trees, stating, we don’t need more trees which are prone to produce tree manure up and down our streets. Residents barked, we have enough tree manure from our pine trees, we don’t need an additional street leaf manure from proposed New Forest. Many of the new replacement trees they talked about briefly, have large radius diameters, somewhere between 25-50 feet, and we’re going to still have continuation of street lights being blocked by trespassing tree canopies..

      CCC/ PPC have been talking about tree reforestation for the two decades, and talk is cheap, CCC has done little to work on the tree reforestation, overall Public Works projects coming down the pipeline. Will it take a Mello-Roos Bond, sale of some city bonds, or create additional sales/street lighting tax money, to cure the city of the public works issues, which are growing yearly, cause of urban menopause.

      Please review this CCC video, regarding Tree Reforestation. Maybe god will prevail and create some severe storms, which will automatically thin out some of our over planted street forests. There are changes coming for 90703, new councils, new mayor and new city manager.


      • Lilah Larrabure says:

        Spending $18-23 million on tree removal, on beautiful healthy trees, is a complete waste of taxpayer money! Most people choose to live in Cerritos and Artesia because they like the tree style of landscape, which literally offers a breath of fresh air. I would like them to keep the trees an offer a solution which is more feasible for everyone. Solution: they should have thorough street sweeping and offer sidewalk sweeping and occasional power washing in more potentially problem prone areas.