OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Caltrans is tearing out some of the pricey palm trees lining the entrance to the Eastern span of the Bay Bridge after just one year.

Several of the $10,000 trees were removed from the bridge Wednesday.

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The canary palm trees haven’t fared well at the breezy entrance to the bridge in Oakland, but urban arborist Scott Wheeler says the iconic tree wasn’t a terrible choice.

“They’re tolerant of soil conditions.  They’re tolerant of high winds.  They’re tolerant of salt spray.  They perform excellent wind breaks,” Wheeler said.

But, there are other problems facing the trees, like disease.

“Some of the trees on the Embarcadero did have pink rot, or fusarium,” Wheeler said.

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Wheeler says that despite the distance from the Embarcadero in San Francisco to Oakland, it’s possible spores made it across and infected the trees on the bridge.

Another reason for the palm tree die-off is the fact that the trees don’t transplant well.

“Any damage in transport is going to be likely to kill off a tree,” Wheeler said.

Age can also be a factor in the health of the trees.

“Just like organs, the older the tree, the more problems you’re going to run into. the problem here is they wanted to install large developed trees and it can take sixty years for these trees to reach a maturity and maximum height. So, they’re not necessarily an old age, but they’re not as vigorous as young trees,” Wheeler said.

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