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Local News in Brief : Irvine : Orange Trees Uprooted; New Crops Scheduled

About 9,600 orange trees on a 52-acre lot are being uprooted because they are unhealthy and unproductive, a spokesman for the Irvine Land Management Co. said Thursday.

Peter Changala, supervisor of agricultural leases for the firm, said the orange orchard--bounded by Trabuco Road, the Santa Ana Freeway and Jeffrey Road--has also experienced soil and irrigation problems. It has been unproductive for the past 4 years, he said, adding that “it does not make sense to continue farming.”

Changala said the firm will plant vegetable crops such as celery and string beans on the site in the spring.

The felling of the trees, which are about 30 years old, began Tuesday and is expected to end within the next 2 weeks, Changala said. Following normal procedure, the firm will wait 60 to 90 days for the trees to dry and will burn them “as soon as we get clearance from the Fire Department,” he said.

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