November Landscape Committee News

By Patty Cheah, Landscape Committee Chairman

Tree Trimming: The fall tree trimming has been completed by Great Scott.  In consideration for 2022-2024 tree trimming, the SPLC had an introductory meeting with Andre Landscape Service.

Brazilian Pepper Street Trees: The committee continues to focus on maximizing the health of the Brazilian Pepper trees in the parkways along Sombra and Tranquilo to extend their life as long as possible

These trees were planted when this community was developed and have surpassed their 30-year estimated lifespan. Originally there were probably over 450 trees planted at a spacing of 12 to 15 feet.  Over the years as trees died, young trees were planted in the gaps between the root balls creating the inconsistent spacing. 9 of these trees were lost in the last year and a half to sidewalk damage, rot, and a fast acting fungus. There are only 223 remaining street trees, and nearly all are either damaged, decaying, or have poor structure.

To support the effort to minimize further damage, committee members have inspected every single tree and created an RFP (Request for proposal) recommending only 22 trees receive maintenance trimming this year.  Last year 52 trees were trimmed.

Wind Event: Before starting our turkeys, the SPLC was out in the community looking for downed trees from the heavy winds the night before.  With successful tree management over the past few years, the damage to Serrano Park HOA owned trees was minimal with no uprooted trees and only some minor broken limbs. 

Homeowner Trees: While the HOA had no downed trees, there was a homeowners’ tree which uprooted, damaging not only their fence but 2 of their neighbors’ fences.  Many homes in our community have old trees which, like the Brazilian Pepper street trees, are many years past their lifespan.  The SP Landscape Committee urges all homeowners to have their trees inspected and do the following:

  • Remove dead tree limbs.
  • Trim trees which are too full to reduce weight on limbs and allow sunlight into the inner limbs.
  • Trim trees which are leaning over their property line.
  • Remove trees which have disease or decay, have excessive dieback, and/or have roots which are raising the sidewalk. This last point is very important.  The City of Lake Forest periodically inspects the sidewalks in our community.  If they determine a tree is damaging the sidewalk, repairing the sidewalk will be at the homeowners’ expense.

Dead Tree Removal: We finally removed the 2 dead and dying liquid amber trees on Paseo Equestre. These have been a complaint for years but the past Landscape Committees have assumed wrongly, that these belonged to a homeowner.

Earlier this year while working with Harvest on irrigation systems, we learned differently, but getting the removal organized kept falling through the cracks for one reason or another. With an active Landscape Committee operating again, expediting such things is far easier.

We sorted a reasonable removal price with Great Scott earlier this month and now they are gone. We are sure the people living across from those trees are celebrating this week.

Maintenance: The SP Landscape Committee has been working on several immediate maintenance concerns to include:

  • install missing plant material in several locations
  • install mulch throughout the community to reduce water loss, suppress weeds, and nourish trees and bushes.
  • repair, adjust and install irrigation throughout the community
  • identify Magnolia trees which need to be treated for Magnolia scale
  • plant ten new trees throughout the community

The landscape committee would like to encourage homeowners to submit questions and/or concerns to our committee via the following:

We will attempt to respond to all inquires within 24 hours.