Latest such incident to befall Brentwood’s iconic tree
By Sam Catanzaro
Brentwood lost another coral tree recently.
According to the Brentwood Community Council (BCC), an older coral tree on San Vicente Boulevard near Burlingame Avenue collapsed on February 9, likely due to heavy rainfall.
“The gorgeous, delicate and high maintenance coral tree species is beloved by Brentwood residents and a City Historic Landmark, however, they are also native to South Africa and don’t thrive with heavy watering,” the BCC said.
Lining San Vicente Boulevard, coral trees are fast-growing and suffer from weak wood, making them susceptible to collapse unless pruned regularly but cver-pruning, however, causes the trees to “sunburn.” Furthermore, San Vicente’s coral trees have not been spared by the impacts of California’s recent, record-breaking drought. Although coral trees thrive on little water, the drought forced the city to turn off irrigation to the median, posing a problem to future tree upkeep.
Compounded with the effects of neglect and unfavorable weather, Brentwood’s coral trees suffer from a fungal infection spread by gophers. Oak Root Fungus is a common plant disease in California that thrives in moist conditions — the fungus has spread through the San Vicente Corridor through gopher damage.
Because of the fragile nature of these trees, the BCC runs a “Brentwood Coral Tree Endowment Fund” to promote the “long-term health and beauty” of these trees. The (501(c)3 nonprofit) is co-chaired by Mary Ann Lewis and Jim Thomas.
“Please consider joining 4 decades of caring Brentwood residents who have contributed towards the Coral Trees on-going maintenance, including pruning, root care and proper irrigation,” the BCC said.