A 120-foot redwood on Castilleja School property will be removed this week after nearby residents and school officials agreed that it could not be saved.
The tree, an estimated century old, is located at a home owned by the school on the Emerson Street side of campus, became a focal point of concern after an arborist hired by Castilleja determined the tree's base is too rotten to allow it to remain. Neighbors were suspicious of the assessment because the tree stands where the school wants to build an underground garage as part of a larger campus expansion proposal.
City of Palo Alto arborists agreed the tree poses a threat and could completely topple in the next storm. But residents wanted to see if a secondary trunk could be saved.
School officials agreed during an Oct. 18 public meeting to allow an independent arborist hired by the residents to inspect the tree. That arborist concluded the tree poses a hazard and should be removed. The residents' arborist also could not conclude that the second trunk could be saved. The residents decided they would not pursue further investigation to save the tree, resident Rob Levitsky said.
The tree's limbs are being removed on Wednesday, Oct. 26, and its trunk is expected to be taken down on Friday, weather permitting, school officials said.