Thirty-three trees planned for removal at Greer Park | October 21, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 21, 2011

Thirty-three trees planned for removal at Greer Park

Replacements to better tolerate reclaimed water

by Sue Dremann

A plan to remove 33 dead or dying trees at Greer Park will add species that are better adapted to handle reclaimed water and the salinity of the park's soil, city officials told Midtown neighborhood residents on Tuesday evening.

This story contains 599 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Greer Park is not on Loma Verde Avenue!

Posted by AllergyRelief, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 18, 2011 at 9:56 am

Please, no more heavy pollen producing trees!

Posted by No More Tree Scandals!, a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2011 at 10:30 am

Please, Palo Alto, no more Public Works scandals or kurfluffles about trees, OK?

Posted by Tree Minder, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2011 at 11:17 am

The problem with the trees in Greer Park is that whoever planted them planted them much to close together, they haven't got a hope of growing properly. Several of them have died, others are looking very sick.

If Midtown were smart they would have them all removed ASAP and get the City to replant more appropriate trees immediately under the supervision of the arborist.

Mitchell Park had some very inappropriate tree plantings some ten years ago. The instructions to the contractor who planted them were very confusing and they planted the new trees under existing trees. Anyway, they were all removed or replanted elsewhere in the park.

I think there needs to be better supervision of tree planting contractors. I don't put Greer Park's tree problems in the same catagory as California Avenue.

Posted by Gethin, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2011 at 11:39 am

Does anyone know how many trees are in Greer Park? If they take out 33 what will be left? I think Kenny asks a good question: how mature will the replacements be? If they are too young/small or just slow growing it will take a decade for them to reach a good size.

Posted by college terrace mom, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

Trees lining the park/tennis courts on Dartmouth St. were taken down. It took much longer than the city told us to replace the trees, and the overall feeling of the area is completely different. The park in the same area was closed for over a year for landscaping and to deal with the standing water issues. This continues to be a problem after the remodel, as the park continues to stand in water, inhibiting activity.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

If you are thinking of saving those trees-give up all hope. Once Palo Alto decides to target and remove trees they will shop aborists until they get expert opinions that support removal...

Posted by resident, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I don't think the remarks here - or the article - reflect the history of this issue. Several years ago, big Eucalyptus trees along the Amarillo side of the park fell in a storm, completely flattening cars parked along the road.

It's good to see the City being proactive. I do not know if 33 trees is a correct number - and I suspect that no one here does either. Let's hope that the process has more careful consideration than past ones - and the City acts wisely.

Posted by Edward, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Leave the "volunteers." They're volunteers because they found a place they liked and have thrived on their own. And what constitutes "poorly formed?" Its a tree for chrissakes.

Who pays for this? Who's to say a diseased tree can't get well? There are people in my family who are ill but I'm not gonna cut them down.

Is this a case of the arborists creating work for themselves?

Posted by Concerned Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm

The use of "recycled water" should be scrutinized before making a decision on which species to plant. On the East side of 101 in the Baylands, there are Eucalyptus trees and a few young Redwoods which appear to be thriving. I am not advocating planting these species, I am only mentioning this to point out that the use of recycled water is the key to choosing the correct species. I think the arborist will research which species will thrive in soils with high salinity, and possibly other chemical compounds in high concentration.
There are warning signs posted at the park about the use of this water. Isn't there a plan to pipe recycled water to Google and then up to the Stanford Research Park? If so, this issue at Greer Park should raise a number of red flags. The use of reclaimed water should be carefully studied or more trees than just those at Greer Park may be at risk in the future.

Posted by LuvTrees, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Fix the salinity FIRST before replanting trees, please.

Posted by bill g , a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm

All those interested in this effort should go to Greer Park and view the trees in question. They either have a red mark or a sign on the ones slated for removal.

Although I'm not an arborist, it seemed obvious that most, if not all, were in poor shape. And hoping they'll get well if the environment doesn't change is wishful thinking - e.g. gotta lower water salinity.

The trees referred to along Loma Verde were used as an example of what happens when newly planted trees are not tended for some time after planting. Canopy has asked for volunteers to look after such trees. They may not have been too successful if those cited are an example.

Posted by Ada, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2011 at 12:07 am

Greer Park does not look like a park, more like a field. They should plant 10 times more trees than there are now. They should plant more big trees to shield the residential housing from the noise and pollution of 101.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 19, 2011 at 8:31 am

Ada, it all depends on your definition of park.

Greer Park is a great place for sports, not a great place for picnics though. Greer Park should be emphasized as a sports park and fully utilized as such. The trees should be where the spectators sit, the picnic areas should be after sports team hangouts, and the bathrooms large enough to use as changing facilities.

Other cities have great sports parks. We need a great sports place, Greer should be that.

Posted by Ada, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm

WE can certainly keep the soccer fields, no question about that, but it makes sense to plant more trees along the Bayshore Fwy to shield it from 101.

Posted by Tree Minder, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Ada says: "Greer Park does not look like a park, more like a field."
Ada, that's exactly what it is a sports field for baseball and soccer. However, the new area is supposed to be for picnics but I've yet to see any picnicing or partying going on in that area - it's too near H.101.

Posted by Anon, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I use the new picnic area Greer Park at lunch time during the week. I often see others enjoying the use of the picnic tables as well. I'm disappointed the trees will be removed as I like the shade to do my pilates. I do understand though that Eucalyptus trees do not last very long in North America since the roots do not grow as deep as they do in Australia.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields