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Palo Alto's majestic magnolias taking a beating

Original post made on Sep 8, 2012

About 28 of University Avenue's stately magnolia trees might have to be removed this year due to declining health, Palo Alto Urban Forester Walter Passmore said this week.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, September 8, 2012, 3:07 PM

Comments (14)

Posted by air pollution, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm

There is just too much air pollution along that road for trees like that.


Posted by Midtowner, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm

The climate is not right here for magnolias. Magnolias need high levels of humidity, lots of water.


Posted by the answer, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Reduce traffic on University Avenue.


Posted by Neal, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Please don't replace the magnolias with another magnolia. Use a variety of other trees that are better suited to the climate and soil conditions. We have enough magnolias as it is. They aren't particularly esthetic.


Posted by No, a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

Replace them with other kind of trees more immune to the harsh environment there. Why insist on growing trees not suitable for the place?


Posted by DT neighbor, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

I am glad they are taking some responsibility. We lived on Middlefield and a gigantic branch fell on our car. The city would not take any responsibility, even for the deductible yet we are not allowed to maintain these trees because they are not "ours". The insurance company nearly totaled the previously totally usable good condition car. In the end we were able to get them to not total it so it cost us the $500 deductible and cost the insurance company over $7,000. Cost to the city zero... well I guess they did come clean up the mess.


Posted by curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Drearily vintage City Hall reaction: since we know they don't work, we'll put in more.


Posted by Garry Wyndham, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Sadly, magnolia trees are not suited to the Palo Alto climate or soils. It's folly to replace dying magnolias with new magnolias. The trees on Colorado in midtown are in sad shape and are unlikely ever to be really healthy.


Posted by Solon, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Redwoods have the same problem and probably should not be planted in Palo ALto


Posted by BP, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm

the magnolias are a very messy tree in Palo Alto, or maybe they don't shed their leaves in Crescent Park as they do in Midtown.


Posted by litebug, a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm

After describing how unsuitable magnolias are in that environment they are going to replace them, as needed, with more magnolias? Isn't that the definition of insane...repeating what hasn't worked before in the hopes of a different outcome? Why not do a little research and find trees which can tolerate the environment they will be required to grow in? I swear this entire country is getting more stupid by the day.


Posted by Southland, a resident of University South
on Sep 11, 2012 at 11:16 am

"After describing how unsuitable magnolias are in that environment they are going to replace them, as needed, with more magnolias? Isn't that the definition of insane..."

Or the definition of Palo Alto?


Posted by CM, a resident of Ventura
on Sep 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

There are a slew of terrible looking magnolias on Park Blvd as well. When healthy they are great trees, but unless they are irrigated they are awful. The branches are brittle and their leaves don't mulch well. They should be replaced with something else. I know this is a favorite forum for bashing Palo Alto, but rather than venting here why doesn't someone contact the city arborist?


Posted by Savethetrees, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm


I guess. But, lately there are so many trees being removed from Palo Alto deemed to have outlived their usefulness by "the arborist" -- the California Ave fiasco, San Antonio Ave, etc. A little suspect.


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