San Fernando Valley

TREE EXAMS: Luckily, it was dead of night and there were no children around when the oak tree came crashing to the ground.

The next morning, as city officials surveyed the scene at White Oak Elementary School in Westlake Village, they realized how lucky the community had been.

Just to be safe, officials had an arborist examine another mature tree at the school, Westlake Village City Manager Ray Taylor said.

Taylor said the arborist reported that the tree had root rot and that it, too, was in danger of falling.

As part of a plan to protect public safety, the City Council will vote at 7:30 tonight at City Hall on Taylor's recommendation to award a $6,500 contract to two arborists who would examine the city's public oak trees and suggest ways to improve maintenance, Taylor said.

Because oak trees in parks and other public places are usually situated near lawns, they often get too much water and develop root rot, said Rosi Dagit, a conservation biologist for the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains.

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