Racist tree get cut down on golf course

Roberts and other city officials promised residents they would remove the tamarisk trees and a chain link fence along the Crossley Tract property lines as soon as possible.

Many longtime residents of the neighborhood previously told The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun they believed the trees were planted for racist reasons in the 1960s, and remained a lasting remnant of the history of segregation in the city.

Roberts apologized to the Crossley Tract residents for any wrongdoing by the city in the past and said he and the rest of the council wanted to make the necessary changes to ensure future generations didn’t have to deal with the same problems current and past residents faced.

Approval of expenditures more than $20,000 have to go to the city council for the thumbs up, and city officials also have to figure out where, in a city budget stretched thin by rising public safety costs and hundreds of millions of unfunded pension liabilities and retiree healthcare costs, that money will be allocated from.

They include: removing the trees; building a 6-foot privacy wall for residents who want it; installing netting or something similar to prevent errant golf balls from flying into residents’ yards; and planting new trees similar to those seen along other parts of the course.

Luxury condo developments were built-up around the course, and in the mid 1960s the trees were planted along the east side of the 14th fairway, blocking Crossley Tract residents’ views of the course and the mountains and hiding the neighborhood from view from the course.