RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Association held a groundbreaking ceremony Jan. 7 for a new arboretum located near the golf course. The arboretum showcases many different types of trees that could be used to replace the red gum eucalyptus trees that have been damaged by the red gum lerp psyllid infestation.
“This is a new era in Rancho Santa Fe,” Association President Bill Beckman said at the ceremony. “This arboretum provides the residents with other options — viable trees that can be used to reforest Rancho Santa Fe. It will assure the beauty of the area for many years to come.”
The trees in the arboretum include different varieties of eucalyptus that are not susceptible to the red gum lerp psyllid, as well as other species such as oaks, pines and olives. All of the trees were selected based on their suitability for planning in the Rancho Santa Fe area and are considered drought resistant.
The arboretum site is located south of San Elijo near the intersection of Via de Fortuna, just off the golf course. The site was chosen for because there is easy access provided by a hiking trail and because water for irrigation is readily available. “People can park their cars along the road and enter, too,” Manager Pete Smith said. Parking is also available at the Golf Club and residents can walk the trail and observe the trees along the way.
“About 27 trees have been planted so far,” said Dick Brockett, director of field operations. That is approximately half the trees that will be planted; the remaining will be planted within the next 30 to 45 days. Each tree will have a label at its base showing the botanical and common name along with other characteristics such as drought tolerance and height at maturity.
“We began this process nine years ago,” said Christie Wilson, who serves on both the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and on the newly reformed Forest Health Task Force. “It wasn’t as easy as we thought. But this is a chance for a new forest for a special rural community.”
Manager Pete Smith encouraged residents to come take a look. “It’s a nice walk, a nice trail,” he said. “We were surprised as how much foot traffic there is here when we planted the trees.”
For more information about responses to frequently asked questions for removal of dead or diseased Trees, go to the Forest Health Task Force page located on the Association’s Web site at www.RSFAssociation.org.