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Original post made
on Jan 20, 2011
Please stop pulling down our glorious old trees as you did on California Ave and San Antonio. San Antonio now resembles any street in a southern California bedroom community. No Northern California character at all. California Avenue looks so bad I can't even stand to shop there! I loved it the way it was....
I have to go against the grain here, and it is a change from my initial feelings about the San Antonio trees - I think we need to update the trees in some places in Palo Alto. San Antonio was one area where those trees did not work anymore.
The problem is the plan for replacement is so drastic.
Why can't this be done a few trees at a time? Pull the problems trees out and replant them over time, then there is not such a huge change, and people can get used to the idea.
It might also help to keep pictures or sketches of what the city intends whatever place to look like in the future ... like the requests for the new fountain on California St.
I am still not impressed with California St, and that project sounded to be like it was a throw money to some company someone knew kind of thing.
I moved here in 1969, and at that time there were huge oak trees all over the place. Town & Country was covered with them, Paly also, and pretty much all over the city. Now I think most, or at least many of those trees have died or been removed, and it takes a bit of reflection to realize it's not the end of the world, like a haircut when you are a kid ... things grow back ... BUT, that said, why can't the city plan these things and manage them over time a little slowly and more controlled?
The trees in Palo Alto are the result of private people and public interest groups who planted them, over the decades. They are not the result of a professional arborist or planning commission. To the extent that planning departments got involved, we ended up with disasters like all those liquid amber trees. We also got laws that "protect" certain species of trees...the effect of which is that almost nobody plants those trees anymore (oaks and redwoods).
The paid tree czars, like the full time city arborists, are even worse than a huge waste of money. They make very costly enforcements that private property owners are forced to follow. This new spending of tax monies to inventory the trees in Palo Alto will be used to development even more regulations, which will be used as an excuse to hire even more arborists.
It is time that we repeal all the rules about trees, and fire all our arborists. At that time, we will start to see many more oak trees, and our urban forest will be as varied as there are opinions among the various people who like to plant trees.
The problem with San Antonio Road is that it's not simply the tree canopy but the tree roots that cause the dangerous bumps along the roadbed. Two bicyclists have been killed and a driver seriously injured on San Antonio Road between Leghorn and Middlefield.
If YSK and bru want to keep the trees on San Antonio Road perhaps we could make University Avenue or Oregon Expressway the main truck route into town. We are tired of trucks turning up East Charleston then turning left onto Middlefield to return to San Antonio Road to avoid the bumps and overhanging trees.
It's time to revitalize our canopy by removing old dead and dying trees with new plantings. This needs to be done continually throughout the City, to keep a healthy canopy.
Will this voting process be like the vote for the California Avenue fountain where the public vote was completely ignored by the art commissioners? If that is the "new" Palo Alto process, then please do not waste our time in any more public polls!
I'm not participating unless it can be proven that my vote and those of my fellow Palo Altans will count for something. We have a lot of junk trees here in town. We have some wonderful ones also, for example, the mulberries along the back of the Cubberly fields - lovely foliage, great fall color, a lot of shade, and they are appropriate to the location. This is all too rare here in town. We have an awful street tree on our lot that we have to water, clean up after, and live with the horrid pods it drops in the fall - a tulip tree. The San Antonio pines were ugly, hazardous, and have been replaced with a much better planting that will hopefully develop into a canopy similar to the one at Cubberly. In view of the dismal behavior of the Arts Commission, perhaps we should find out who these people are rather than waste our time on a survey they might or might not take into account.
Why should we respond to a tree survey when our outcry over the Cal Ave slaughter resulted in meager plantings that will never replace the canopy within our lifetime? Are we still paying the city aborists responsible for the California Avenue debacle? Let's replace these aborists before we talk about replacing anymore trees.
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