Efforts to reinvigorate the rows of oak trees on Esplanade Avenue began this week as city crews cut down damaged trees and removed unauthorized vegetation planted by residents.
The work, which started Monday, sets the stage for the planting of new trees and other “measures to restore the health of the existing mature live oak canopy and Esplanade Avenue to its original historic condition,” city Communications Director Sarah McLaughlin said in an email.
“The city is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its live oak canopy,” McLaughlin said. “Yesterday, the city’s Department of Parks & Parkways began removing declining, hazardous oak trees and illegal plantings along Esplanade Avenue between North Rampart and North Miro streets to make way for new live oak tree installations, which will be completed by spring of 2016.”
Eleven trees will be removed because they are stressed or in decline, while 29 trees will be planted.
The project has been planned since 2013, though legal issues with the bidding process delayed the work until this week.
In addition to removing the dying trees and planting new ones, the city will add compost and fertilizer to the soil, remove dead wood and add clay shale to areas used by pedestrians.
Money for the project comes from federal disaster recovery grants.