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The Tree Man of Fallbrook honored by Save Our Forest

 

Last updated 11/26/2017 at Noon

From left, Roger Boddaert is recognized by Jackie Heyneman and Wallace Tucker for his contributions to preserving local trees, at a Save Our Forest party.

FALLBROOK – “The Tree Man of Fallbrook” is a well-earned title for Roger Boddaert, arborist cum laude. His contributions to the Friendly Village were lauded at a recent Save Our Forest party.

Back in 1992, he first made his mark by preserving the lovely Live Oak Park country road. The County had marked 21 trees for destruction on what was once an original segment of the Old Highway 395, from Reche Road to East Mission.

San Diego attorney and Sierra Club member Roger Hedgecock and nearby residents enlisted Boddaert to help preserve this curving road and, with the help of an FUESD student picture campaign which was presented to the San Diego County Traffic Advisory committee, only one-and-on-half trees were finally lost.

Twenty years prior to this, the same process was begun. An appeal to the community by the “Save the Oaks” group brought donations that funded the hiring of a traffic specialist to estimate average speeds. As a result of this study, tree branches lower than 16 feet were marked with reflector lights, and only one sycamore that impeded school buses on the narrow 16 foot road was lost.

“Two saviors of this campaign,” noted Jackie Heyneman, a new Live Oak Park area resident at the time, “were Raymond Wayman, a long-gone realtor, and Jean Combs, a great 4-H volunteer.”

With Heyneman’s invaluable participation, the Save Our Oaks group became “Save Our Forest” (SOF), a branch of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy in 1993. Boddaert was a key player in a grant-writing effort launched in 1995 to develop the downtown community forest. This was part of a nationwide movement to show how trees can improve the economic stability of small urban communities.

In 1996, SOF received its first California ReLeaf grant to plant 110 trees throughout Fallbrook. This was occasion for a huge community celebration, with volunteers helping with the planting and the party.

Boddaert was personally involved in this project until the early 2000s. His valuable contacts in the tree world also resulted in donations of one hundred trees to begin the tree-lined walkway called the Pico Promenade, which SOF volunteers continue to plant and support as much as possible.

For the Fallbrook Treescape Program, Boddaert received an Arbor Day Award, in addition to the California Governor’s Award for Community Tree Stewardship.

 

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