August 11, 2022
The Rancho Santa Fe Forest Health and Preservation Committee (FHPC) was formed in 2012 to support the Association and its residents’ efforts to preserve and enhance the forest canopy that makes our area so unique. The health of our forest is not only important for aesthetics but critical for fire safety as well.
In the 2018 Forest Health Study commissioned by the Association it was noted that the Rancho Santa Fe forest has been experiencing decline for over a decade. The decline is particularly associated with the large canopy tree, the Red Gum Eucalyptus, which has been decimated by the red gum lerp psyllid insect native to Australia. At the time of the study an estimated 42,000 eucalyptus trees were either dead or dying throughout the Covenant.
Our challenge and urgency as a community is to eliminate this dangerous fire potential and replace those trees with a greater diversity in species while continuing to maintain the beauty of our “skyline” and lower broader canopy trees. We need the active participation of every resident in the Covenant because over ninety percent of our trees are on private property.
In an effort to expand tree knowledge in the community the FHPC has worked with Association staff in developing the Arboretum bordering the golf course at San Elijo and Via de Fortuna in which a variety of suitable trees are displayed with signage (click here for map/information). We are supporting efforts to expand the Arboretum this year with another fifty plus trees in time for Arbor Day, 2023.
Other high priority projects include replanting trees and shrubs around the perimeter of the golf course where trees were eliminated in the past two golf course renovations and through natural life spans. In addition to much needed shade for equestrians and walkers this will provide screening from the roadway as well as errant golf balls.
Other current projects in the community include continued tree planting in the Arroyo Preserve and new trees adjacent to the sports fields.
We are seeking additional members to our committee and encourage concerned residents to get involved. Please contact the Association or Leonard Gregory, Chairman, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.