These two large cottonwood trees at Krusi Park, a major visual landmark, are slated for removal within the next few weeks to coincide with major renovations funded by Measure WW park district funds. Included in the plans are the replacement of the outdated recreation building and upgrades to pathways and lighting.
City Parks are excluded from tree posting requirements, as they are subjects of separate studies.
These two trees are where cooper’s hawks nested this year. A CHINS (Coppers Hawk Intensive Nesting Survey) volunteer has been monitoring this nest.
The reasons given for removal are that their roots are rotting and also damaging a neighbor’s backyard patio. At the November 14 Recreation and Park Department meeting, city staff agreed to verify these claims by hiring an arborist and making sure a leak in the house isn’t attracting roots to find water there.
The replacement trees are to be coast live oaks. At the November 14 meeting, one resident expressed concern about their tendency to get root rot in irrigated areas. The landscape architect described various strategies to address this including planting them on top of mounds to promote drainage. Another resident recommended a taller stature tree in lieu of oaks, if the cottonwoods actually have to be removed.
There seemed to be general agreement among the commissioners that the city needs to be very careful about how it handles tree removals given what happened on Park Street.
Revisions to our street tree policy, in light of the Park Street tree cutting, will be considered at the November 28 Planning Board meeting. Every proposal affecting trees should adhere to the values expressed in our tree policy, including our Park Master Plan.