Hundreds of Pepper Trees slated to come down in Coronado.

Posted at 11:30 PM, Jan 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 02:30:51-05

Roughly, 900 Brazilian and California Pepper Trees are part of Coronado's "Urban Forest."  The city council approved a plan Tuesday to remove up to 40 trees a year over the next 20 years.

Jason Pratt, his wife, and two young children live in front of one of the trees scheduled to be removed.

"The trees are very dirty, they create a mess on the street, a mess on the lawn and the cars," said Pratt, who admits he loves the smell of the pepper berries.

The city says the trees aren't just dirty, they're potentially dangerous. They were planted in the 1930's.  

"Unfortunately, as those trees are now aging out, they're failing, and we're concerned they're going to fail en masse," said Clifford Maurer Director of Public Services and Engineering.

Last year, twenty-seven trees came down at the city's golf course during a strong wind storm.

The trees also have aggressive and invasive roots, according to Maurer.

It's something Pratt has noticed on his street.

"The street right here is kind of buckled up a little bit and then the sidewalks in some of the blocks are getting lifted up, the roots are really kind of obtrusive," said Pratt.

Homeowners who object to the tree removal can file an appeal with the city.

"We do anticipate a few people will object to their Pepper Tree that's large and provides shade in front of their home being taken out.  So, we'll be giving public notice before any tree is taken out and should a homeowner want to appeal that decision they can do that,

provided the tree is not a high risk to public safety we will allow  the tree to stay and continue to monitor it," said Maurer.

Homeowners can choose a replacement tree from a list of 13 already approved by the city.

The first phase of the plan involves taking out 17 trees over the next several months. The trees will be replaced late in the year.