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By Kim Murphy
Murphy and Murphy Southern California Real Estate 

Real Estate Round-Up: Four trees do add to property's value


Last updated 11/26/2018 at 9:03am

A few months ago, I arrived at my North Main Avenue office at 7:30 a.m. Across the street were tree trimming crews and their equipment, with three green and yellow trucks and tree branch grinder machines.

Concerned, I ran across the street to find out what they were planning to do. They informed me that they were hired by San Diego County to cut four Australian willow trees down. I quickly leaned up against one of the trees and started calling everyone I knew that could help me stop them.

I called San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn, Village News publisher Julie Reeder, Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce CEO Lila MacDonald and San Diego County Supervisor candidate Jim Desmond, among others. After about two hours of calling everyone I could think of and waiting for an answer, the workmen started putting their equipment away, got in their trucks and drove away.

Jackie Heyneman of Save Our Forests contacted the county. She was told that the trees had become a nuisance and needed to come down as their roots were causing the sidewalks to lift and creating a tripping hazard. Something needed to be done.

Heyneman convinced the county to send a tree arborist to determine if the roots could be pruned so the trees could be saved. Root pruning is a solution that would allow the mature trees to remain while stopping any further root growth. Root pruning in combination with deep pipe watering would cause the roots to search deep rather than to the surface and eliminate the problem.

Despite this request, the county decided on a plan that calls for cutting down the four trees, replacing them with two new trees, providing a 4-foot by 6-foot grate around the trees and repouring concrete. Heyneman’s request was to provide a root barrier, a pipe for deep watering and a large open dirt space around the base of the new trees. These three activities would provide a healthy environment so the trees, even in drought years, would thrive.

This solution is far from ideal but since Fallbrook is at the mercy of the county, the solution was accepted. Here’s the catch: the proposal coming before the Fallbrook Community Planning Group has a grate covering the dirt around the trees, which will prohibit water from getting to the trees and will collect debris, the schematics for the tree wells to allow for a root barrier and deep watering, but none of the supplies needed to do that, and – wait for it – no trees. The community is to provide the trees, the supplies for planting the trees and the manpower to plant the trees.

For me, enough is enough. Why should Fallbrook get the short shrift? Fallbrook pays its share of property taxes, and it doesn’t get treated like other unincorporated areas like Rancho Santa Fe or even Julian. It’s simply not right. I need residents’ help. The Fallbrook Community Planning Group will meet Monday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at Live Oak Elementary School on Reche Road. The trees and the county’s solution will be on the agenda. Please come and be prepared to speak. Help me keep Fallbrook’s Main Avenue charming.

The town needs much more. so I will be reaching out for help in the future as well. Main Avenue needs to consider traffic calming for the safety of pedestrians, angled parking and marked crosswalks. Residents can make downtown Main Avenue a destination stop for day trippers. The merchants will be thankful with increased shopping opportunities. Their revenue will pour directly back into the community. New specialty stores will start to open and attract new businesses and restaurants. The downtown shopping areas will thrive, and the town will enjoy higher property values. Help keep Fallbrook the charming place everyone has come to love and enjoy. I hope to see everyone, Nov. 19.

Kim Murphy can be reached at or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N. Main Ave., in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.


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