What is a TREE? by Dolan Eargle

We received this from Glen Park resident Dolan Eargle of the Trees Company, and it is published with permission and minimal edits.

What is a TREE?

Concern for the trees of Glen Park is understandable, but I rather think many may have wrong impression as to “what trees” we are talking about. From much of the conversations lately, it appears that there is little understanding of the nature of the many varieties of trees. Just what is a “tree” to someone?

As I understand it, there are FOUR groups of trees involved here.

1.  The most easily understood group of trees are those that crowd the Recreation Hall and would hamper the reconstruction proposed. Most are older trees, some are twisted, but not really hampering, any contractors’ work. Rather, they are enhancing by their uniqueness (hundreds can be seen in Glolden Gate Park). Why remove these???

NOW disconnect this group from:

2.  At least 9 giant historic eucalyptus trees about 100 years old, planted by Adolph Sutro’s workers. These are perfectly healthy, in excellent shape — they collect summer fog and dampen the ground beneath, they act as a giant year-round windbreak (no other trees here do that), they hold the soil with their root systems, they furnish shade. NO OTHER NEWLY-PLANTED tree can do these things.

3. Add to these a goodly number of eucs scattered between the Rec Hall and the schoolhouse. These have the same characteristics as in #2. A couple of these are leaning into a path along the west side of creek — dangers? They have been leaning for about 50 yrs. Remove them? I don’t think so. Another couple do look like they could be taken without comment.

But then another giant euc adjacent to the “owl tree” and “dam” on Islais Creek has been tagged.
Why on earth??? It is good, healthy, and useful.

4. There seems to have been some sort of survey through the large old eucalyptus forest alongside O’Shaughnessy Blvd (part of the Sutro planting).

This forest has been here without much concern for decades. Yes, a few of the trees fall every once in a while as trees in a forest are wont to do. Endanger anyone? No. This is a real forest. Why was such a survey made here in the first place? Now someone wants to remove dozens of these trees? Leave them alone.

TREES AND TENNIS COURTS

With special regards to #2.

As seen in the proposed remake of the Park, these valuable, unique trees will be removed simply to reposition two tennis courts!!! I spoke with one of the project designer presenters early on in this discussion. What would it take to do this? First, the trees would be cut and chipped. Then specially-equipped bulldozers with teeth would rip out the roots. Then, upon closure of Alms Road, they would carve into the hill to remove some soil. Next a heavy cement wall would need to be poured — approximately where the trees are now. Next, tons of soil would be brought in to fill the area where the tennis courts would be placed. Then, tada!! the tennis courts could be installed with behind fences. New trees would be planted where the eucs are now. I asked, “What kind, size?” No answer.

Doesn’t this sound a lot like “make work” along with a total disregard for valuable trees?
Alms Rd. is used by almost all persons entering the upper park for a walk. Take it away???

Simple resolution: Move the tennis courts northward about 15 feet to where the ugly walkway is now. Plant a neat line of new trees alongside of it. Leave the giants and Alms Rd alone.

“PLEASE SAVE MONEY”, everyone asks. Oops, not as much money to be made as on useless projects.

Dolan Eargle,  Glen Park resident
Director, Trees Company

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