Santa Monica City Hall ordered the removal of a 100-year-old, 100-foot-tall eucalyptus tree after three large limbs fell from the tree within two weeks. The first limb could possibly have been explained as caused by dry weather, but the next two limbs showed signs of fungal decay. One of these limbs weighed 2000 lbs. The tree, located on private property, was examined by a number of arborists to determine if the tree was decaying. A Community Forester and an arborist hired from City Hall determined that the tree was falling apart and that a fungus had infected the upper section of the tree. Independent arborists felt the tree was sound overall and with consistent and careful pruning, the tree could be maintained safely. Walt Warriner, the Community Forester, said after examination, “Once I got into the tree, I was more concerned that the decay had spread further than anticipated. There were other wounds that were entry points for decay fungi. The science points to the fact that the potential is there. There are significant limbs that, if they were to fail, would cause serious damage.”
After the findings, the tree’s owners said they would try to memorialize the tree by using the wood for projects and possibly leave a 10 to 20 foot stump. The tree had been highlighted in two books, “Trees of Santa Monica” and “Exceptional Trees of Los Angeles,” and it had been officially landmarked by the city. It was the largest known specimen of its type in the country.