• Linda Bogue

To Park neighbors - February 2021


The cherry trees on the island at the intersections of Crescent, Warren, and Greenwood needed to be replaced. This entry informs you about plans for the island.


As you may have noticed, about half the cherries there were dead or as good as. Most of the rest were not thriving. This is not new: at least three generations of perimeter cherry trees have been planted over the past decades, and every year the Parks Dept. has had to replace one or more of them that has died.


This was not sustainable: whether it be heat reflected off the asphalt or water requirements, the site does not work for these trees. Even with year 'round water for a time -- from a sprinkler system problematically installed and connected to the public water supply by a neighbor, without permission from the City – these trees did not do well. Our islands need to be planted such that after their trees are established, they do not need regular dry season watering. (The plums on the neighboring island, for example, do not get extra water support.)


Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is one definition of insanity. With a limited and oversubscribed budget for new trees, the City cannot and should not keep replacing trees that are inappropriate for their site. So, the dead cherries removed this year will not be replanted.


This means it's time to rethink and refurbish this island. The replant species here needs to better suit the site conditions; provide screening for the expanses of asphalt island neighbors look out on yet be spaced so as not to block the view across the island; be pleasing aesthetically and complement the grand incense cedar at the island's center.


After consultation among the City and various consulting arborists, the species settled upon is 'Moonglow' Juniper. It’s also an evergreen conifer, so will co-exist harmoniously with the cedar. Its smaller size will step the eye up toward the towering central cedar. Its showy, silver blue needles will provide contrast with the cedar's dark green as well as offer a handsome prospect in themselves. You can find them pictured here: https://conifersociety.org/conifers/juniperus-scopulorum-moonglow/

The plan is to fully relandscape the island this winter/spring so that it looks attractively cohesive. By replacing the cherries all at once, we avoid a hodge-podge mix of cedar, junipers and cherries until the rest of the cherries die. And this way, all the replacement junipers will be a similar size. To this end, the San Mateo Park Neighborhood Association is partnering with the City to share funding for removing all the cherries and replanting around the cedar with this Juniper.


This facelift is overdue. Keep an eye out as for the new trees – coming soon.



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The south end of the Hurlingham island between W. Bellevue and W. Poplar has just been planted with 6 Canary Island pines. This completes the transition there to this species. The old, towering pines on this island, fighting infestation by pine bark beetles, have been dying off, one by one, for a couple of decades. Several attempts were made to replant the same species of pine, but those young trees all succumbed quickly to the beetle. So the City's Managing Arborist recommended shifting to the Canary Island type, which appears more resistant. You can see those thriving young trees at the island's north end. The final stand of 7 mature pines collapsed rather suddenly this year. Their removal cleared the path to establishing a fully cohesive, new grove. Appreciation is due the City Arborist for swiftly planting these replacements, despite the fact that the City's budget for new trees had been fully allocated months ago.

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  • David Long

What’s Going on in Your Neighborhood


By: Lieutenant Ryan Monaghan, Area-1 Commander


2020 has certainly brought its fair share of challenges for all us; however, I continue to see our San Mateo community groups banding together and looking out for one another during these unprecedented times. I look forward to seeing all of you at an in-person meeting sometime in the future. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact me if you are planning a virtual meeting and would like a representative of SMPD to join.


On the following page, I have provided year-to-date data on the top crime/ reports for the SM Park area and data from the same time period last year for comparisons. As you can see from the data, property crimes were up across the board from last year. Petty thefts accounted for the largest spike. We believe this is largely attributed to unlocked vehicles.


We are seeing similar crime trends in other neighborhoods around the City. Anecdotally speaking, the explanation can be attributed to environmental and societal changes brought on by COVID-19. Opportunists, who generally target shopping malls/ public shopping areas and large parking lots to commit their crimes, are instead targeting residential areas. In addition, correctional institutions are temporarily having to release some offenders earlier than usual, without the same level of oversight and/or transitional support, to control COVID-19 outbreaks within their populations. All of this said, your SMPD officers continue to proactively safeguard your neighborhoods. To this end, keeping your neighborhood safe is a “team sport” between you all and your police department.


Here are 3 things you can do to help us stop and solve crime:


1. Lock, stow, and keep it! Make sure valuables are out of sight within your vehicle and lock your doors. These are two actions that can most effectively protect you from being a victim of opportunistic property crime.


2. “See Something, Say Something!” You are our greatest asset. Dial 911 to report criminal activity. Our officers continue to proactively patrol San Mateo, but they are eager to respond and catch criminals in the act!


3. Register your street-facing video security cameras with us. Participate in SMPD’s Neighborhood Eyes Security Team (NEST) by registering your video doorbell or other security cameras with us at https://www.cityofsanmateo.org/NEST.




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