Tree Removal Update

Here is the latest information from the Bureau of Urban Forestry:

A hearing date has been scheduled for Monday April 29th, 2019 at 5:30pm in room 416 at City Hall.

Hearing notices have been posted on the ficus trees (and one poplar at the corner of Octavia & Hayes) that will be subject of the tree removal hearing on Monday April 29th.

You can read the copy of the Tree Removal Notice here.

The hearing will only be to discuss the proposed removal of ficus trees (and one poplar), along Octavia, two blocks of Hayes, and a few ficus along the immediate side streets to Octavia. The hearing notice will list all of the addresses with the ficus trees, proposed for removal. Our regularly scheduled, monthly tree hearing at City Hall will still occur the week before, and have unrelated items on that agenda. We wanted to make sure that we provided the time and space, to hear and review these items without fitting it in among other agenda items. We’ll open with information about the ficus trees, our maintenance program (Street Tree SF), and our concerns about the specific ficus trees that we have proposed for removal and replacement. We will be committing to a three-month turn-around time to plant the required replacement trees.

The reasons for removal of the ficus trees along Hayes are the same as the reasons we initiated the removal of the ficus along Octavia: very poor structure that is prone to fail (meeting the tree removal criteria for ficus trees outlined in our Director’s Order, attached). The walk-through, if requested would cover the same information as we covered in the two walks along Octavia. We’re open to setting up a time to host a similar walk.

You can read the tree removal criteria for ficus trees here.

Regarding replacement trees, we have a number of required clearances from utilities and other street “furniture” that we need to make sure we are satisfying. Replacement trees are always required, as long as there is plantable space in that immediate location, or nearby.  The Director’s Order details all of these placement criteria for new or replacement trees. Things are always changing in the public right-of-way, and sometimes street lights get placed near existing trees that were not there when the tree was originally planted, so we always perform a thorough check of the site when initiating a removal of a tree to determine if it is re plantable, so that information can be shared with the public. It is quite a laundry list of conflicts we need to avoid, and we always work to favor replanting if possible – that is our mandate and our preference!

This spreadsheet shows the list of 39 trees in yellow. The other trees in the spreadsheet are the trees that we also posted for removal, but are spread out through this maintenance grid (Key map 25). If we receive a protest for one of these other trees (not highlighted in yellow), we will schedule it for a hearing in late May.