Landmark Tree Removal at Braille Institute


The Loss of the Landmark Braille Institute Pine

The Braille Institute on De La Vina Street in Santa Barbara just suffered a huge loss; its landmark Canary Island pine tree.

This tree was approximately 115 years old and stood over 100 feet tall.  But in the past few years burrowing turpentine beetles had taken their toll.  The beetles had infested the already weak tree (either due to drought or age) essentially killing the tree as evident by the browning of the pine needles.  A secondary infection by California fungus, commonly only found in dead trees, initiated the decomposition process.  As the tree died and started to dry out, the branches became brittle and would have eventually begun to fall.  Safety for the Braille Institute, pedestrians, and vehicles on De La Vina became a serious issue.  After discussing the tree’s health and replacement tree, the City of Santa Barbara agreed that removal was the best option.


The Process Begins

On September 22 the removal process began.

 Branch Out Tree Care first removed the large scaffolding branches working from bottom to top.  One climber used an aerial lift trunk and a second climbed to heights above the truck’s reach.  Limbs were secured with a rope pulley system to lower the branches safely.  By the end of the first day, all that remained was the central trunk.

Removal of the Tree Trunk Requires a Crane

On September 23, a crane was brought in to assist in removal of large cut portions of the trunk.

Again, safety was the priority and each piece was secured, cut, and transported by the crane to waiting bins.  All the cut wood was either chipped on-site or hauled to an off-site location to be cut up and recycled.


Removal of the Remaining Stump

The final day included grinding of the remaining stump and preparing the area for the new tree.


What Happens Next

Branch Out Tree Care will be back to observe the installation of the new and ensure that the soil is free of pests and fungus to provide the new tree with the best growing conditions possible.