Reasons for Exemption
In January and February 2023, three large eucalyptus trees located on the UCLA campus fell during heavy rains and required immediate removal. Subsequent arborist inspections, including visual assessments, fungal sampling, and sonic tomography have identified poor tree heath, specifically decay within structural roots and tree heartwood, fungal infection, buried root flares/root collars, poor crown growth, and compromised wood strength. Based on the professional arborists' recommendations, removal is proposed as the primary course of action to prevent additional tree failures among a series of diseased trees, particularly in light of continued storm conditions and resulting saturated soils. Given the location of the remaining trees adjacent to several campus sports fields regularly utilized by students and Sunset Boulevard, which experiences high and congested levels of vehicular traffic, emergency removal of a total of up to 90 eucalyptus trees is proposed to avoid or mitigate an immediate threat of further property damage, to protect public safety, and to prevent the potential loss of human life. The determination that the project is statutorily exempt is based upon evidence contained in the record.