Around Town | February 18, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 18, 2011

Around Town

TRUMPETING TREES ... How do Palo Altans love trees? Let us count the ways. Of the close to 650 residents who responded to the city's Urban Forest Master Plan Survey, 97 percent said trees are "important" because they provide shade and cool buildings, 95 percent said they are "beautiful," 86 percent said they reduce air pollution and 62 percent praised them for providing "edible fruits and nuts." One respondent called trees "living proof of a divine creator" while another said they "are fun to climb (maybe not so much for me anymore, but for my kid)." What do Palo Altans dislike about trees? Not that much, but damage caused by tree roots tops the list, with 51 percent of responders citing it as a top peeve. The mess from fallen leaves or fruit also creates a problem according to 35 percent of survey respondents. One person complained about "pollen all over my car" while another cited birds that "poop on my car when I park in the shade." The survey also shows that most Palo Alto residents think the city has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to managing its urban forest. Only 15 percent said the city does a "good job" in informing residents about tree regulations while 60 percent demanded that the city do a better job. The majority of responders also thought the city "needs improvement" in informing residents about tree regulations (60 percent) and about proposed tree removals (64 percent). Staff wrote in its summary of the survey results that it is clear most residents "highly value the importance of trees to the community and believe that trees add great benefit and improve and enhance the quality-of-life in Palo Alto. In short, trees matter."

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