Guest commentary: Landscaping leads La Jolla MAD news, including three new Chinese elm trees

Three Chinese elm trees have been installed in empty tree wells on Silverado Street between Prospect Street and Eads Avenue adjacent to the La Jolla Woman’s Club.

The La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District is now monitoring the condition of the trees, working to water and maintaining them to ensure their survival. Just as with the 21 jacaranda trees planted on Pearl Street in December 2020, the Chinese elm trees have a lifetime warranty and will be replaced at no cost should any fail.

In other landscaping news, several hawthorn hedges bordering the large surface parking lot at Herschel Avenue between Prospect and Wall streets were trimmed, along with two Mexican fan palms — one on the south side of Torrey Pines Road near Girard Avenue and the other at Coast Boulevard and Cuvier Street near Scripps Inn.

After meeting with leadership from the La Valencia Hotel regarding a dead Canary Island palm tree visible from areas of the hotel property and the adjacent sidewalk, LJMAD sent a formal request to the hotel and the adjacent La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites with a recommendation for palm tree removal. While LJMAD vendors do not remove palm trees, they can recommend contractors that can help reduce the appearance of blight and neglect caused by dead and declining trees.

A new strategy to improve the appearance of recently rehung flower baskets tethered to lampposts along Girard Avenue and Wall and Prospect streets is being planned. The new brackets installed on each lamppost in recent weeks will be raised to higher positions.

Along with the use of new flower baskets, a new concept for rearranging different succulent and floral varieties is being considered.

After the floral arrangements in the recently refreshed hanging flower baskets did not perform as well as anticipated, an effort was made to improve their appearance. Unfortunately, more than a dozen faux terracotta flower baskets disappeared from a staging area along Girard where they were temporarily being stored for repotting.

The baskets that disappeared were reused from the years-old effort to establish hanging flower baskets along main thoroughfares in The Village. After exposure to the sun, sea air and other elements for more than a decade, many of the baskets could have been in better shape.

The recently purchased hardware now mounted on lampposts from which the flower baskets hang remains intact. The hardware represents the lion’s share of costs involved with this project.

After a brief holiday-related delay, landscaping of three large tree wells on Ivanhoe Avenue at Wall Street has begun. Four yards of Arizona river rock and 30 5-gallon iris plants will be placed in the tree wells, resembling the landscaping design
in front of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library on Wall Street.

If you see an issue needing attention in the district, please call Enhance La Jolla at (858) 444-5892 or email

Mary Montgomery is manager of the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District. ◆

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