Viewpoint - July 20, 2011

Letter: 'Granny' lovers should save some of her offspring

I humbly suggest that those who love Granny, the Valley Oak in North Fair Oaks, search the area for her children and protect them, by staking and caging these young trees.

Perhaps both the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the neighbors would allow some of Granny's children to survive. Granny has become an isolated relic of a once vast oak woodland community.

I suggest that Granny is being viewed as a sculpture, not as a mother tree whose role is to produce more Valley Oaks. Too often young seedlings are mowed, sprayed or dug up because people think they're not growing in the "right" place or people don't even know they're destroying a baby oak.

There are heritage tree ordinances, but little is done to encourage planting new Valley Oaks. Thus we have mostly lost the next generation of oaks. Consider that finding and protecting Granny's children would do more to help reestablish the oak woodland community than would spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a questionable attempt to save one very beautiful specimen oak.

If some money is to be spent why not hire Acterra to grow Granny's acorns along with acorns from Valley Oaks nearby and plant them, where appropriate, along the aqueduct corridor or in the neighborhood. Acorns can be harvested starting in mid-September. Growing a new forest would be a fun and kind act ensuring future generations the opportunity to enjoy future "Grannies."

Acterra's native plant nursery currently has nice Valley Oaks ready for planting, so please consider contacting this helpful nonprofit group.

Chris Romano, Woodside


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