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City allowing huge trees to Die and be killed for development

Original post made by barb, Crescent Park, on Jul 7, 2016

Dozens of trees , Redwoods included are being allowed to diea slow death at the office complesx on the SW corner of Page Mill and El Camino. early Last fall while visiting the site i approached a landscaper who was pouring a gallon jugs of a liquid onto several of thetrees. I asked if the irrigation was on at all for any of the trees as well as what he was doing? he mentioned they had turned off all irrigation for the redwoods, and many of the other trees.
during extreem drought at the time he was also pouring concentrated fertilizer on the trees. Thus killing them directly.

I both wrote and called the palo Alto arborist to notify them of this. I also called the property manager of the site.
She stated the site was due for "RE-PURPOSING' i said redevelopment? Yes she said. There for all the trees were coming down anyway.
As a citizen and property owner I nor my neighbors are allowed to remove or neglect any tree on our property of a significant remodel, build a home or re landscape!!! Why are developers allowed to remove , kill trees of this significant size with out penalty like the rest of the community? Does anyone else see the strong allegiance the planning department and now the arborists have with their pockets being possibly lined with contributions from developer who are changing the core of the environment off our community with out regard for the the environmental impact?

Comments (9)

Posted by I speak for the trees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Because after the Maybell conflict, the City knows no one cares about cutting down trees anymore. 200-year-old trees, redwoods, historic orchards with such deep roots they survive the drought without watering and where hawks nest - people claiming to be environmentalists will get out their hatchets and saws if the overbuilt development includes even a single "affordable" unit. Trees are so yesterday.

Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 8, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Hi Barb could you give a few more details about your conversation with the city arborist and site manager?

details such as naems dates quotes from emails could be helpful

Thanks!!! and thanks for your post!

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 8, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Before launching into a big campaign about this lot and its trees, I'd suggest that you be sure that the trees in question are either in or out of the "building envelope". In other words, are the trees located where a building would be built (vs. in a set back). If the trees are in the middle of the lot (i.e., in the area where a building could legally be sited), then it's perfectly legal to take the trees down - including "heritage trees". This is also true for residential construction.

Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 8, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Dear Dad,

You might be confused about protected trees on residential parcels versus commercial/mixed use parcels

The trees in question might be protected simply by their variety not "heritage " status

I think it would be great to see some moe details on this post....thank you again Barb for bringing this to the opublics attention

Posted by Borax
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 8, 2016 at 10:21 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Borax
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 8, 2016 at 10:23 pm

Holy crap! I just checked google maps and you're talking about Palo Alto square? Those are awesome trees and it really hides the density of those office buildings.

The city should be irrigating them with groundwater pumped from basement construction

Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 9, 2016 at 8:07 am

Redwood trees larger than 16" in diameter are protected in Palo Alto:

"These trees must be maintained in accordance with regulation and require permits for pruning, removal or any activities that might impact them."

Web Link

Posted by So What
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2016 at 6:19 pm

California Live Oak trees are protected all over the state, regardless of their size, but that has NOT stopped Stanford and the VA from cutting down healthy heritage oak and redwood trees!

Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 10, 2016 at 6:44 pm

The oak trees at the VA in Menlo Park are on federally owned land. Unfortunately any protection the oak trees would enjoy elsewhere in the state do not apply on federally owned land within the state:

Web Link

Web Link

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