After an outpouring of concern from neighbors, Stanford University will begin removing unstable eucalyptus trees from its property along Alpine Road near Interstate Highway 280 in Portola Valley on Thursday, March 30. Several trees in the area have fallen over the last week, one of them killing a plumber as he drove through the town.
Luisa Rapport, director of Emergency Communications and Media Relations for Stanford, told this news organization in an email that the tree removal work is "very difficult" due to the saturated soil, distance from the street and size of the trees along Los Trancos Creek.
"The work may also be quite visible given its location and the use of a crane to perform the work," she said. "The initial estimate is that at least seven trees will be removed and that the work will last into next week, although this is subject to change based on weather, equipment availability, and further evaluation of the conditions at the site."
Ladera residents told this news organization earlier this week that they were worried that more trees would come down as storms continue to hit the Midpeninsula and threaten lives and property.
Rapport said Stanford is working with Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and other local officials to share updates and address community concerns.
The current lane restriction on Alpine Road will remain in place to protect community members and the tree crew, Rapport said.
On March 21, Jesus Ivan Cruz Diaz, 29, had just completed a job for Able Plumbing, Sewer and Drain when a tree fell on his work van as he drove eastbound along Alpine Road near the Highway 280 south on-ramp. Emergency responders said that several more trees fell while they were attempting to extricate Diaz from the van, nearly hitting them and their vehicles.