A damaged coral tree at the entrance to the Shore Cliffs neighborhood will be removed early Wednesday following a private arborist’s consultation, city officials and neighbors said.
The tree was damaged Friday morning by a large orange commercial vehicle that fled the scene. It tore off a large limb that blocked nearly all of Seaward Road. City employees examined the tree that day and said the damage split the trunk, destabilizing the 1948 tree and creating a safety hazard.
Neighbors were upset, however, when crews began removing the rest of the tree’s limbs without talking to the homeowners association or giving any warning. After spending the weekend pleading for the chance to hire a private aborist, city officials agreed to a short reprieve.
The private arborist met with neighbors and city officials to examine the tree this morning, with the city’s decision being upheld. The damage from the truck was just too severe, said Kate Robinson, a Shore Cliffs resident and homeowners association board member. “While I am sure we are all saddened to see the coral tree go, safety has to be the first concern.”
Other coral trees in Newport Beach have fallen without warning, nearly causing injuries.
Mark Harmon, Newport Beach’s director of general services, said the rest of the tree will be removed Wednesday morning. He added that the city will work with neighbors to replace the damaged tree with another large-specimen coral tree as quickly as possible. Read our earlier coverage here.