Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Parkmerced's "Tree-cutting" vs. Arbor Day

Parkmerced's recent forray into public relations, also includes some much needed attention, as the recent advertised "Arbor-Day" event which is being done in connection with the PRO group. The PRO tenant's group, is deeply concerned with the care and maintenance of the site as has raised this issue repeatedly with prior owners. Now a new owner comes along, and with it comes a "vision" for the future. Tree-maintenance and landscape review is now a part of this package. Arborwell has made a "tree-survey" on the site, and an Environmental Consultant has reviewed the natural habitats of some of the trees proposed for "removal". The difficult issue is in the report, the specifics, and the priorities. There are obvious dead tree's on site, and I have emphasized the need to remove the obvious dead tree's due to the known hazards witnessed in Stern Grove. There are the non-visible issues of tree-rot, and fungus growth, beetle infestation, and general age which we as individuals cannot discern so readily. Than there is the building lines, electrical, sewage, water, that in some cases have been compromised by tree-roots, in a similar vein the paths and paving. What determines whether a tree should be removed, replaced, or left to die of natural age? As a majority of the trees are at a 70-80 year growth on site, there is a difficult issue of how to preserve a modern landscape, while at the same time take into consideration the existing saftey and maintenance costs required. These images are of a tree-cutting that occured today on site Tuesday July 22, 2008 around 9-10am. The tree was not "labeled" as one to be removed. There was no permit posted on the tree, it was an obviously dead and distressed tree, yet, another one removed nearby seemed healthy and not in need of cutting? Other trees at the Juan Bautista Circle have been marked, some do not have the permit label. One tree was pointed out by the Arborwell foreman as "dangerous and in need of being removed" it was one of the smaller trees on the outer ring, part of the "right-of-way" on the circle. One tenant called the police, and Parkmerced supervisors were soon in the vicinity. Discussion with the officer, and the supervisors and tenant's took place with concern on method, saftey, permits not being posted, right-of-way hazards no being followed, and general concern for how this info was relayed. The Foreman from Arborwell had an 11x17 sheet with general blue dots noting trees to be removed today or in the near future. (Lots of them) Meanwhile the permit and the map did not particularly coincide or show precisely with numbering which trees per the permit were to be removed. In the world of paperwork and legal issues, its astounding that the map the foreman had did not specifically show the trees in the vicinity, and numbers to directly pin-point the tree to be removed. Again the lack of signage, or info. deems that the rules are followed haphazardly, and the need for oversight greater than ever. Tree #1285 was removed today from Juan Bautista Circle. The tree itself was not the problem, the lack of care, maintenance and proper process and notification in its removal was.

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