News

Two dozen trees saved on El Camino Real

 

Late last year Mountain View marked for removal 28 red oak trees planted in the 1970s on El Camino Real. The oaks were lifting and cracking sidewalks between Grant Road and Castro streets. The city was able to save all but three.

"We did everything we could to preserve those trees," said Bruce Hurlburt, Mountain View's parks and open space manager. The trees had to be cut during a sidewalk replacement project that finished in May.

The three trees that couldn't be saved had too much of their roots above sidewalk level. Only 15 percent of the root mass of each tree can be safely removed, Hurlburt said.

The trees that were saved usually had to have portions of their roots cut back before sidewalk cement could be poured, sometimes with iron bars reinforcing the concrete or a layer of steel plate sandwiched between the roots and the cement to prevent lifting and cracking.

The trees that were removed were replaced with a new, 24-inch box tree, which is required for every large tree removed on public or private property in Mountain View.

This winter a similar sidewalk replacement project is set for Shoreline Boulevard, between El Camino Real and Villa Street. Some of the magnolia trees there are lifting and cracking the sidewalk and may be tagged for removal.

— Daniel DeBolt

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Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Ronna Devincenzi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2011 at 11:02 am

Is the tree advisor for Palo Alto Public Works interested in seeing how they handled this so successfully in Mountain View?

Kudos to the Mountain View Parks & Open Spaces Dept. & in particlar, to Bruce Hurlburt.

Palo Alto could take a lesson from all of you, particularly because parts of downtown Mountain View's street trees were clear-cut within the past 15 years or so & not just once, but twice.


Like this comment
Posted by Sue
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Too bad Palo Alto had an incompetant Public Works Department when they allowed all the trees on California Avenue to be chopped down.


Like this comment
Posted by Janet Gardiner
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Way to go, Bruce! I praise your environmental responsibility and wish that Palo Alto had decision-makers as competent and honest as you are!


Like this comment
Posted by NeedTrees
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Trees are VERY important. When planting, make good plans for the needs of the trees roots, and branches and not have to have cement right up to the tree base. Give them some room!! and support with water when needed.
Trees give us beauty, SHADE, and places for birds & creatures. And trees give us peace and serenity.


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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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