Eucalyptus Tree Safety

It may be months before two families can move back into their town homes after a large eucalyptus tree fell on their roof. It happened in the Timerlane I development at Appaloosa Road and Caminito Rio Branco during a strong rain and wind storm in February. No one was hurt, but the damage was extensive. Other trees in the community toppled, but there was no major damage.

From rain to fires, eucalyptus trees have been the center of debate when it comes to their safety. If you think a tree may be in danger of falling, consult a licensed arborist. As for fires, eucs are on the undesirable plant list for fire-prone areas. That’s because of the peeling bark, production of large amounts of litter, and vegetation that contains oils and resins. Does this mean we should get rid of them? No.

However, we need to do tree maintenance. Many of the eucalyptus species, if adequately maintained—thinning, irrigation, litter removal, and weeding—may remain as long as the potential for spreading a fire has been reduced or eliminated. You can only do this with trees on or close to your property.

Here are some guidelines:

How do I clear legally? Combustible vegetation can be removed only by mowing, cutting, and grazing as long as the root structure is left intact. Any trees you remove shall have the stumps cut no higher than eight inches above the ground.

Can I clear into open space? If there is vegetation in open space near your property, you may legally clear 100 feet from your structure. You must get a right of entry permit from the city’s Park and Recreation Department as well as approval from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department prior to doing any clearing.

What is combustible vegetation? It is any material that, left in its natural state, will readily ignite, burn, and cause fire to move to any structure or other vegetation. This includes dry grass, brush, weeds, litter, and waste.

The whole idea is to be aware, alert, smart. You stopped watering your lawn, but don’t let that dead flammable grass just sit in your yard. Clear your 100-foot defensible space around your house. Get rid of the debris and flammable material near your home. The rain has been awesome and everything is green. Pay attention in 12 months when it is not so green. Be safe! You can reach the Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council at 201-3711 or [email protected]

Neighborhood Watch: Be a Good Witness

Crime. It’s the number one concern for most Scripps Ranch residents. We have received emails from Scripps Ranch Civic Association Neighborhood Watch (SRCANW) members who notice suspicious behavior and call the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) non-emergency line—858-484-3154—to report it. This is exactly the response we want. Since there is often a long hold time, be prepared to put your phone on speaker so you are not “stuck.”

If you observe suspicious activity, call and report it to police first, then follow up with an email to [email protected] If it appears that a person is casing a home with the intent to commit a burglary, call 911. You may be witnessing a crime in progress. An example would be a person looking through windows or peeking over fences while a companion stays in the car.

Jot down a physical description of the suspect—gender, race, height, weight, age, hair length and color, eye color, facial hair, scars, tattoos, glasses, and clothing. If there is a vehicle involved, try to get the license plate number and a description, including dents, decals, and so forth. You can download a “Physical Description” form at

Neighbors looking out for neighbors—that’s what this program is all about. If you’d like to know more about becoming a block captain, please mail [email protected] To join SRCANW and receive our neighborhood crime updates via email, go to and complete your registration.

Cheryl Shaw, SRCANW Chair

SRCA Garage Sale and Clean-Up Day

Mark your calendar! The popular annual SRCA Community Garage Sale, sponsored by Windermere Homes and Estates, is on Saturday, Apr. 22, from 7:30 am until noon. You can sign up and get maps at the Windermere office at 9989 Hibert Street or online at

The following Saturday, Apr. 29, is SRCA Clean-Up Day, co-sponsored by the Torrey Pines Kiwanis. Clean-Up Day is from 8 am until noon or until the dumpsters are full. There will be two locations: the Business Park on Meanley Drive; and the SRCA Community Center, 11885 Cypress Canyon Road. The ONE CELL battery recycling program also will have collection boxes available.

Elissa Barber, Barbara Perkins, Chairs

RSVP Needs You!

The Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP) needs dedicated individuals who can give 3½ days a month—only 3½ days! Yes, you can make a difference. We would love to show you how you can be a valuable asset to your community.

You’ve seen our white cars driving around our neighborhood. What do we do? We make home checks on the elderly. We drive by schools, shopping centers, banks, and parks. We look around and are visible throughout our neighborhood. We also do vacation home checks.

It’s easy to join us. To find out more information, please contact Jim Schulte at 538-8120 or visit the storefront at 8450-A Mira Mesa Boulevard. Volunteer and help your community!

Pat Clark. RSVP Board Member

Thinking Summer Thoughts

Since 1985 the Symphony in the Park Committee has planned and produced concerts for our community. We started with Summer Sunday evenings in Hoyt Park and later added a Holiday Concert, complete with surprise visitors for the kiddos. There’s never a charge. We are proud to have hosted many of San Diego’s best bands and even more proud of the way our friends and neighbors fill Hoyt Park.

We are in the process of signing bands and planning for this season’s concerts. The all-volunteer committee works for your pleasure, and we have the less pleasant task of asking for money.

Notable business partners support us, and we really appreciate their contribution. Scripps Ranch families support us too. Family contributions make us smile the most. Your tax-deductible gifts mean you—our neighbors—value the thought, time, and work these concerts demand and contribute to our schools’ music programs.

Visit for the concert schedule and an opportunity to make your contribution to keep Hoyt Park rocking for another year!

Phoebe Carroll, Symphony in the Park

Visit the SR Farmers Market

We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in March, and we feel lucky to be part of this community—for 15+ years! We will be at our current Innovations Academy site until June 2018, when the school district plans to lease the land for a four-story apartment building. We are looking for a new home.

Join us each Saturday from 9 am to 1:30 pm, as the shoppers above did. Our clientele sends a message to the district that the market is important to our community. For more, visit

Bev and Mike Cassity, Market Mgrs.