High Street neighbors remember cut-down oak | October 5, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 5, 2012

High Street neighbors remember cut-down oak

Palo Alto valley oak was a century or two old

by Pierre Bienaime

In Anne and Chris Sigler's front yard on High Street stands a barren oak tree, cut down to four great but stunted branches shooting out of a thick trunk.

This story contains 717 words.

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Editorial Intern Pierre Bienaime can be reached at pbienaime@paweekly.com.


Posted by paloaltotreewatch, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm

what about cutting off half of the tree to lessen total weight and putting up braces to prevent the fall over - that is called for also in the PA Tree Technical Manual.

Too expensive?

Posted by Dave, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Weight reduction and bracing would have only been another bandaid for this grand tree. The proximity of the house foundation, as seen in the pictures, is ample evidence that the structural roots (large brnach sized roots) on the house side were cut or damaged when the foundation was installed. Without these structural roots, the growing mass of branches caused the tree to lean like a teeter totter. Erecting this house near the grand old tree was its demise.

Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Oct 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Very, very sad.

Posted by Mike Alexander, a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2012 at 5:54 am

Sad, yes. And true, the house was put too close to the tree. This time of year, the tree, or some nearby offspring of it, should have mature acorns that could be used to grow a new tree in the middle of the yard.

Posted by resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

From the photos, it looks like the tree had been growing/leaning that way for many years and long before the house was there. The article doesn't say that it was lifting the foundation or tilting due to roots being cut during construction. The article reports that the trunk was cracking. Perhaps it could have been pruned back to reduce the weight causing the crack, but, once any plant or tree gets to this point, it's hard to prevent further damage or decay. Yes, sad but the article doesn't point to the house being the cause.