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Cerritos Tree Reforestation Cost $240,000, Council Votes to Continue Program



BY BRIAN HEWS • February 5, 2021

In December of last year, the Cerritos City Council approved the pine tree reforestation plan and provided funding to complete the removal of 55 sick or invasive pine trees located in the city. The Property Preservation Committee has been getting reports annually and they used that information to plan for the future, ever year about 55 trees are needed to be removed.

When pine trees are removed, typically the area around the tree needs to be repaired; this could include curbs, gutters, sidewalk, irrigation, and turf. Replacement trees are planted when possible.

The repair of the public right of way cost substantially more than just removing the tree and Cerritos estimated that 60% of the tree removals would need repairs to the right of way.

Of the 55 trees removed, 44 replacement trees were planted, 30 required small repair of the right of way, 18 required more major repair, and 47 required irrigation repair.

Of note here is the city looked at attempting to recycle the pinewood but all of the recycling facilities they contacted did not want to accept the trees because they are residential. Typical residential trees have nails and other things in the trunk which would hurt the mill saws; the city would have to transport the trees to the mills which made the process very cost prohibitive.

The 55 trees averaged nearly $2,000 to remove, for a total cost of over $100,000. The 44 replacement trees averaged $115 which equated to $5,000, for a total of $106,000

Cost to repair areas around the trees was over $135,000 for an average of $2,400 per tree.

The total cost was nearly $240,000 which is an average of nearly $4,400 per location.

The Council voted 5-0 to continue the pine tree reforestation program. They also told staff to explore the feasibility of installing concrete barriers and decrease costs for pine tree removals; shift costs for sidewalk and curb repairs to be paid for through other

sources such as Measure M to focus the General Fund appropriation to

pine tree removal exclusively; identify funding for any extra work needed such as sidewalk and gutter repairs and identification of the trees which most are in need of removal as a priority.

TREE REMOVAL – the city is also looking at prioritizing tree removal and using Measure M funds rather than general funds.