http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/2014/03/14/letters-to-the-editor


Town Square

Letters to the editor

Original post made on May 8, 2014

Affordable housing loss

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 14, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments

Posted by Inge Infante, a resident of Addison School
on May 8, 2014 at 9:01 am

I was happy to see the construction of the house on 1130 Middlefield finally nearing its completion. I was not so happy to see an oak tree delivered to be planted in the front lawn. Oak trees are "dirty" trees. They drop leaves, caterpillars and acorns constantly. The acorns are distributed in the neighborhood by blue jays and dug up by squirrels, destroying what is growing, including the lawn. My immediate neighbor planted a lawn under an existing oak tree. The lawn died within a few months for lack of sunlight. So my neighbor had to spent a lot of money installing artificial turf. Along my driveway I just counted 30 oak seedlings. If I let them grow, they can easily lift the sidewalk.
Why not plant a tree that does no damage and people will actually enjoy, like a dogwood?


Posted by Erwachsen, a resident of Community Center
on May 8, 2014 at 6:37 pm

It seems the city has themes of certain trees on certain blocks of streets. For some, the theme is magnolias, which are fragrant, for others, it is sycamores, which drop branches on parked cars. Apparently your block has an oak theme. However, it should be planted on the parkway, not on the front lawn. Although redwoods and oaks are native trees, they wreak a lot of havoc with concrete sidewalks, which the city has been sued over at least a couple of times when pedestrians tripped over the cracks and bumps where the roots lifted up the pavements.

Call the city arborist and complain! A neighbor of mine tripped over a sizeable root protruding from a sidewalk ( the trees' canopy also obstructed the street light, so he never saw the root). He broke his shoulder badly and had to have two surgeries.
The city had recently been sued over a similar occurrence with an elderly person, so they were quick to pay his hospital and doctor bills, as well as shave down the root and pave over it ( though they did not trim the canopy). Let the arborist know this is a safety issue as well as a maintenance nightmare.

This also seems especially weird, since we were recently sent a letter from the Utilities Dept informing us that this was NOT the year to plant our annual vegetable garden or do any landscaping, due to the drought!