Local News

Neighborhood fights the destruction of Adlena Park Trees

Trees marked for destruction in Adlena Park

The City of Fullerton has marked five of the dozen Chinese Elm Trees at Adlena Park in preparation of cutting them down – and neighbors are not happy. The beautiful tall trees with their graceful arching branches and thick foliage provide shade for the neighborhood park.  Chinese Elms, also known as Lacebark Elms, are not only attractive, but also fast-growing and disease resistant. With proper care they can live from 50 to 150 years.

At a City Council meeting held on August 3, several people spoke against the planned removal of so many trees.

Jensen Hallstrom, newly appointed to the Parks and Recreation Commission, said that after a single branch fell from the largest tree in the park, that 70-year-old Chinese Elm was cut down. “Five more trees are set to be cut down without any public input. This is going to remove a third of all the original mature shade trees. These trees give Adlena park shade and make it unique, beautiful, and welcoming.” He then suggested postponing the removals to allow for community input.

“Do not remove the Adlena Park trees. Once the trees are gone, there’s very little shade for the kids who play in the park,” said Kathy Moore who brings her students there nearly every day.

Lara who lives in the Adlena Park neighborhood said that cutting down the trees will be so harmful for the kids and the neighborhood. “Children play on the splash pad and parents socialize at picnic benches in the shade. The Park has been the refuge for families with young children throughout the pandemic. Neighbors have used the park as makeshift classrooms, playground, all sorts of sports, and for family picnics.”

The City Arborist and Inspector Roger Cardenas said, “I would suggest that the decay has happened over a long period of time. Mechanical damage from years of mowing the grass around the tree trunks and watering are contributing factors. I am not suggesting the damage is due to present time practices, this has taken time to get to the condition of where the trees are now.”

Muriel, a Fullerton resident said, “If the damage is due to years of poor maintenance shouldn’t that be the first thing we fix? How is cutting down our shade trees and planting new trees going to work if the new trees will end up having the same problem?”

Steve Brow, a local ISA Certified Arborist for 18 years before starting his contracting business disagreed that the trees were a liability. “I see healthy bark and foliage.”

Upcoming Workshop: The City and WCA, the city’s contract tree-trimming company is inviting the public to a workshop on Fullerton’s Urban Forest Plan, Saturday August 21, 9am-10:30am at the Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth. City Tree Inspector Roger Cardenas will be on hand to answer questions.

Arial View of Adlena Park Trees