The Making of a South American Palm Weevil Mini-Documentary for “Deep Look” with KQED

South African Palm Weevil Mini-Documentary

(This article was origialy posted here.)



The South American palm weevil, Rhynchophorus palmarum (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is well established in parts of San Diego County in California and is responsible for killing numerous Canary Islands date palms. The spectacular damage this invasive pest causes and the large showy adult weevils and alien-looking larvae and pupae, captured the imagination of Elliott Kennerson and Joshua Cassidy, digital media producers for the science show Deep Look with KQED Public Television and Radio in San Francisco. After a few phone calls and ensuing discussions, Elliott made the pitch to KQED to develop a story on the palm weevil and the project was given approval for development.

A plan was made to drop a weevil infested Canary Island date palm tree in a residential area in San Diego County and from this palm weevil life stages would be collected and filmed. The first challenge was finding an infested palm, which we did, and the bigger challenge was to bring the palm down and then cut it up so we could examine the crown of the dying palm for weevils.

Paul Webb with RPW Services, Inc. put us in contact with Michael Palat from West Coast Arborists, Inc. who generously offered to taken the palm down and then dispose of it free of charge.

The take down of the palm was done on 27 March 2017 and filmed by Josh and Elliott. This involved a lot of camera work, including Go Pro’s strapped to the helmet of the arborist who was responsible for chain sawing the palm from the bucket lift!  Adult weevils, pupae, and one larva were recovered from the palm. The weevil life stages were photographed and filmed, and flight mill activity was all digitally recorded on 28 March 2017. Hours of digital footage was recorded and this will be condensed down to about 3 minutes when the final version is produced and released for public viewing in early July 2017.

Save Our Water And Our Trees! Campaign Offers Tips to Help Trees Thrive

image003Sacramento, CA – West Coast Arborists has partnered with California ReLeaf, Save Our Water, and a coalition of urban forest and other concerned organizations to raise awareness on the importance of proper tree care during this historic drought. Save Our Water is California’s official statewide conservation education program. California ReLeaf is a statewide urban forest nonprofit providing support and services to over 90 community nonprofits that plant and care for trees.

With potentially millions of urban trees at risk, this campaign focuses on a simple yet urgent message: Save Our Water and Our Trees! The Save Our Water and Our Trees partnership is highlighting tips for both residents and agencies on how to water and care for trees so that they not only survive the drought, but thrive to provide shade, beauty and habitat, clean the air and water, and make our cities and towns healthier and more livable for decades to come.

“While Californians cut back on water use during the drought, it is critical to community health to save our lawn trees by setting up alternative watering systems once you turn off the regular sprinklers,” said Cindy Blain, Executive Director of California ReLeaf.

Lawn trees can and must be saved during the drought. What you can do:

1.     Deeply and slowly water mature trees 1 – 2 times per month with a simple soaker hose or drip system toward the edge of the tree canopy – NOT at the base of the tree. Use a Hose Faucet Timer (found at hardware stores) to prevent overwatering.

2.     Young trees need 5 gallons of water 2 – 4 times per week. Create a small watering basin with a berm of dirt.

3.     Shower with a bucket and use that water for your trees long as it is free of
non-biodegradable soaps or shampoos.

4.     Do not over-prune trees during drought. Too much pruning and drought both stress your trees.

5.     Mulch, Mulch, MULCH! 4 – 6 inches of mulch helps retain moisture, reducing water needs and protecting your trees.

Trees in irrigated landscapes become dependent on regular watering and when watering is reduced – and especially when it’s stopped completely – trees will die. Tree loss is a very costly problem: not only in expensive tree removal, but in the loss of all the benefits trees provide: cooling and cleaning the air and water, shading homes, walkways and recreation areas as well as human health impacts.

“This summer it is vital that Californians limit outdoor water use while preserving trees and other important landscaping,” said Jennifer Persike, Deputy Executive Director of External Affairs and Operations, Association of California Water Agencies. “Save Our Water is urging Californians to Let It Go – GOLD this summer, but don’t forget to keep your trees healthy.”

Save Our Water has been urging Californians to “Let It Go” this summer by limiting outdoor water use and letting lawns fade to gold, while preserving precious water resources for trees and other important landscapes.

Save Our Water’s website is available in both English and Spanish and is filled with tips, tools, and inspiration to help every Californian find new and creative ways to conserve. From tips on how to keep trees healthy during the drought to an interactive section allowing users to visually explore how they can save water both inside and outside the home, Save Our Water has a wealth of resources available for Californians.


WCA Crews Recognized for Their Work on Olvera St. in Los Angeles


Second to None in Glendale



Re: “City: Don’t read too much into Zurn move,” Sept. 22. Just because “officials say his leadership of two departments isn’t a sign of things to come,” it doesn’t mean we aren’t in good hands with Stephen Zurn at the helm of any or all city public services.

In my 16 years in Glendale following 20 in Los Angeles, the level of service and performance by Glendale’s staff, crews and contractors has been markedly better, even given a few hiccups along the way. And Zurn has remained friendly, positive and caring in a post that really calls for keeping the entire city functioning for residences and businesses alike.

Case in point, contracted street-tree-trimming services that swept through our Rancho area this week were professional, skilled and adhered to posted schedules. We really needed the work done, given the fair amount of fallen tree limb reports in the last year. In fact, their level of tree work is the best in recent memory to this tree-hugger who also appreciates certified arborist skills and the value of relieving large trees of dangerous weighty boughs, of opening up arboreal structures for better light and air circulation, and of improving their spatial relationships with adjacent trees.

Other public works services such as street light repair, biweekly street sweeping, and administration of infrastructure projects vis-à-vis resident concerns have demonstrated a quality level that must be in large part attributable to Zurn’s direction.

Another reason to be glad we live in Glendale!

Joanne Hedge

A Salvaged-Wood Revolution – WCA Featured in the LA Times

Turning More Fallen Trees Into Furniture

Three men in neon-colored hard hats push the blade through a black acacia tree trunk, slicing it into three 1/2-inch-thick slabs and exposing stunning lines and swirls.

“That acacia’s beautiful,” said John Dominguez, the director of a 2-month-old partnership between Anaheim-based West Coast Arborists and Woodhill Firewood in Irvine, adding that the old-growth grain is something that “you’ll never see” on the market today.

It takes eight minutes to cut each 11-foot-long slab because the wood is so hard, said Tom Rogers, owner of Woodhill Firewood, which takes in 600 tons a day from tree trimming and removal jobs. The acacia should yield eight to 10 slabs, he said. Each might surpass 250 pounds, and with luck they’ll be sold to artisans to make tables and other pieces.

The tree, which fell in Monrovia Canyon Park in December, and a nearby deodar cedar that fell in Arcadia, are examples of how the popularity of salvaged wood furniture has produced a secondary trend: rising efforts to ensure that urban trees, including those that fall during storms, don’t end up in landfills.

It’s not a new idea to turn such trees into lumber, and some communities such as Lompoc have embraced it. The state has even lent equipment to those who want to try milling. But until recently, trees that fell or were removed by homeowners and cities in Southern California were mostly treated as trash — perhaps firewood or mulch, officials say.

Read More Here


WCA Emergency Crew Sweep up Storm Damage