Almanac

News - February 16, 2011

Menlo Park: 82 heritage trees on chopping block

• Sharon Heights Country Club wants them gone.

by Sandy Brundage

People living near the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club at 2900 Sand Hill Road will soon see a letter from the city sitting in their mailbox.

Menlo Park is contacting anyone who lives near the club about its request to cut down 82 heritage trees, of which 79 are coastal redwoods. The city will accept public comment until Monday, Feb. 28, before staff makes a recommendation regarding the proposal, according to Rebecca Fotu, environmental programs manager. The city also contacted those subscribed to the city's heritage tree e-mail list and the environmental quality commissioners.

Arborist Straun Edwards of Trees 360 Degrees inspected the heritage trees slated for removal and concluded that 75 percent are either hazardous or unhealthy. In addition to potentially hurting the golf course economically, Mr. Edwards wrote, the trees were planted too close together to thrive.

The country club wants to plant 172 replacement trees of mixed variety, including Pacific dogwood and flowering purple leaf plum.

According to the city, the request is the first phase of a two-phase plan to remove heritage trees at the club. Most of the approximately 1,470 trees on site are coastal redwoods; chopping down 82 would remove about 6 percent of the total trees. Information about what phase two would do was not yet available.

Visit tinyurl.com/5rjaomd to review the proposal and associated reports.

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