Sunday, January 17, 2010

Claremont's Dutch Elm Oops

The Dutch Elm Tree, a once popular east coast tree and now in decline due to the deadly DED (Dutch Elm Disease), is one of Claremont's rarest trees. There's a whole block of them on both sides of Indian Hill near Memorial Park, the city claims that they are the last of their species west of the Mississippi River. The city believes they are about 100 years old.

Let's track back.

Sometime in 2009, during the month of May I believe, a boy and his mother were hit by a car crossing Indian Hill and Tenth Street. Thankfully, they are okay from what I gather. This prompted the city to react and decide on installing a traffic light. Whether this is a good financial move for the city or not is not my business (I am not a Claremont resident, just 'adjacent' LOL). Regardless, the plan went through.

Thanks to the greatness of sub-contracting this work, a moronic employee or unprepared company decided to start digging away near these historic trees in December. Normally, this can be done with the right steps and precautions. Apparently non were taken and they chomped away about 20 percent of the trees roots according to West Coast Arborists. The tree was now considered unsafe and had to be removed. This stopped the installation of the light in December.

The cost is estimated to be almost $70,000 for removal and replacement. I do believe the company's insurance will pay for this. The good thing is they will be replacing the tree with another Elm. It's to be some sort of hybrid Elm which is resistant to DED. It also looks the the traffic signal will now get the green light (pun intended) and should be up in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and the tree was not 100 years old, it was determined to be around 60+ years by reading the rings. What's the point of this story? Hmm, I think it's just to note a loss of a rare historic tree in California. They are beautiful in late Spring, as many trees in Claremont are.

(by the way, WHERE ARE YOU Claremont Insider? Please come back, I miss you guys!)


  1. As you can now see, Claremont Insider is back,. At least for today.

  2. Really? That's great... my wish came true! Now I need to wish for a new job and we're good!