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Century-old Cowper Street oak to be saved -- for now

Original post made on Sep 30, 2011

A 100-plus-year-old heritage oak tree at 816 Cowper St. in Palo Alto that had been slated for the chopping block may be saved, officials have announced. Public Works staff met with neighbors and tree supporters Wednesday to outline plans to save the venerable oak from the chainsaw.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 30, 2011, 12:13 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2011 at 8:10 am

I sincerely hope that this tree does not come down and harm anyone or anything in one of the storms this winter. If in fact it does come down in a storm, is the City liable for any damage it may cause?

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2011 at 8:10 am

So when the tree falls on their house, the homeowners have agreed not to sue the City? If not, remove the hazard.

The City should get a signed waiver of liability. Otherwise, our taxes will go to pay for the home repair when the tree falls on it.

Posted by Alphonso, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Sep 30, 2011 at 9:05 am

And who is paying for all of this work - sounds like it would more effective to use the resources to remove this tree and plant a couple of dozen young and healthy treee.

Posted by Emily Renzel, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 30, 2011 at 11:10 am

I'm so pleased that the City is sparing this Heritage Oak. Thanks to the Oak's neighbors who worked with the City to help keep this magnificent Tree. There are actually two other nearby heritage oaks that join with the one in question to indicate how Palo Alto may have been forested years ago.

Posted by Sylvia, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2011 at 11:42 am

@ Resident

"Our taxes will pay for home repairs if tree falls."

Wouldn't the homeowners' insurance pay for damages to the house if a tree falls on it? My eucalyptus fell partially on my house many years ago, and my homeowner's policy paid for tree removal and roof damage.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm


The liability is due to the known issue that has now been exposed. There is only 6" of good trunk left. If the tree fell before that was known, insurance would pay. Now that it is known, the insurance company will claim that the City was negligent for not removing the hazard. This is the same reason we lost all of the majestic trees in Pardee Park.

Why is this situation different? Who are these neighbors?

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Let's face it - trees are a crop. They grow, flourish and then die. That is what acorns are for. Get used to it.

Posted by keep tree please, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm

I support the OAK tree!!! Very important to keep our tall trees for the shade, for the creatures within this tree, and the beauty of an old old tree.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2011 at 5:00 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Then build a structure strong enough to support the damn tree. For about $50,000 you could make a steel frame to hold it up. Painted green, of course. Trees, yes. Tree, no.

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