Killed by Drought, Four Historic Stone Pines Getting the Ax

Historic stone pine trees line East Anapamu Street.
Paul Wellman

Four historic stone pine trees that line East Anapamu Street and have been done in by the drought will be removed by City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation staff next week, October 27-30. Neighbors have been notified of the removal plans — the locations are 305, 334, and 821 East Anapamu Street, with the fourth pine on the Anapamu Street side of 1200 Alta Vista Road — and drivers should be advised that detours may occur during the process. After removal, the trees’ stumps will be ground out.

In the early 1900s, when Anapamu Street was a mere dirt road, 81 of the trees were planted, said assistant parks and rec director Jill Zachary. But in the century since, the pines and their root systems have faced a slew of challenges: paved roads, sidewalks, utilities, pruning, and reduced planting space. They are also now fighting the drought and a pine bark beetle infestation.

Zachary said that city is working hard to ensure that the remaining 77 trees win those battles, with staff conducting routine monitoring, monthly irrigation, resident outreach, and treatment for the beetles. Between November 3 and November 7, the parks and rec department will install 25 “irricades” — a system of soaker hoses that can dispense 125 gallons of water — to better irrigate the majestic pines. “Trees are significant environmental, social, and economic resource that take many years to develop,” Zachary said in a statement. “Maintaining our trees is a high priority.”

Mayor Helene Schneider echoed that sentiment. “The stone pines are magnificent trees of great value to the community and the city’s urban forest,” she said. “The ones to be removed will be missed tremendously. We will endeavor to do all that we can to make sure the remaining trees thrive during the drought and for many years beyond.”

Residents who wish to help support preservation efforts can reach out to urban forest superintendent Tim Downey by calling 805-564-5433.


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