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What it’s important to know about our trees

 

Like many of your neighbors, you may have been attracted to find a home in The Park by its abundance of trees -- in groves on our 62 ‘islands,’ lining our streets and in everyone’s yards.  This unique, tree-filled landscape was established in the 1890s, in consultation with John McLaren (landscape architect of Golden Gate Park), before any of the lots here were auctioned off, much less houses built.  Not only do we have an abundance of trees in our neighborhood, but an unusual number of tall and heritage scale trees grace our skyline.  It’s a landscape the Association works with the City to maintain.

 

The program for our street and island trees: 

We have a master tree planting plan carefully tailored for The Park.  The plan designates the species to be planted for each block in The Park and for our islands, and the City replants according to this plan.  The aim is to preserve or restore our special landscape as originally conceived. 

 

This master plan was developed in 1993, in partnership with the City and your Neighborhood Association, after we recognized that our heritage landscape of aging trees was dying off.  With essentially unplanned, random replacement planting, we were losing the cohesive treescape and vision that uniquely characterizes The Park.  Slowly but surely, by taking the long view and planting trees according to plan, we are restoring the integrated treescapes that were our founding gift.

 

What about the street trees in front of your home?

Street trees (and our islands) fall under the jurisdiction of the City, so planting or removing them requires a permit.  The City will provide and plant street trees for free.   In almost all cases, the City only permits planting the tree designated in the master plan – whether they plant or you do.  (Do consider, besides “free,” that the City generally assumes liability for street trees it plants.  If you plant in the sidewalk area, liability for that tree will fall to you.)  Of course, no one is required to have street trees, but they are a defining characteristic of The Park and we hope you enjoy yours, the ones along your block and throughout The Park!

 

Who do you call?

If you have questions about your street trees, our islands or The Park’s master plan, please contact the Association’s Board, board@sanmateopark.org.

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