Almanac

News - June 15, 2011

City chops tree removal request in half

• Country club gets OK to remove 37.

by Sandy Brundage

The Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club at 2900 Sand Hill Road asked Menlo Park for permission to cut down 82 heritage trees, of which 79 are coastal redwoods. The trees line the first nine holes of the golf course.

The city's response? Cut down 37. Dueling arborist reports suggest the reason for partially denying the club's request has to do with differing evaluations of tree health.

On behalf of the club, 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 city's arborist begged to differ. That report states the remaining 45 trees are in good condition that will only improve with routine maintenance — and with the removal of the others.

According to Rebecca Fotu, environmental programs manager for Menlo Park, the deadline for appealing the decision is June 23. Club management was unavailable for comment.

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