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HOA cuts trees down, Rancho Bernardo neighborhood pushes back

More than 30 trees have been taken down in the last few weeks by the community’s HOA – the Community Association of Bernardo Heights.

SAN DIEGO — Should they stay, or should they go? That is the question dividing one Rancho Bernardo neighborhood Monday as some residents say they don’t want to see the beautiful trees cut down while others think they pose a threat.

Harry Dirks could hardly watch as crews chopped up another one of the large pine trees lining Paseo Lucido Street near his home.

“To just haphazardly cut trees out of people's lives is just unconscionable to me. There used to be pine trees all the way down and you don't see them,” he said.

More than 30 trees have been taken down in the last few weeks by the community’s HOA – the Community Association of Bernardo Heights.

“They apparently have some sort of a sidewalk issue with the roots – nothing I could tell was worth taking out 40-year-old trees for,” said Dirks.

The sidewalk did show cracks and some part had raised sections one or two inches. One slab showed a significant bulge. 

Dirks did not think the damage warranted the trees being cut down. He is fearful even more will be coming down.

In a statement to News 8 from the HOA said in part that the board is very careful when approving tree removals and that the damage caused by roots were a hazard to pedestrian traffic. It further said the HOA’s arborist said simply cutting the roots was not an option because the trees would become unstable. The statement also said there are no plans to remove additional trees beyond what has already been cut down.

Dirks said there are still several marked trees with an X for removal. He is hoping bringing attention to the issue may save them and other pines in the area.