Maintaining Our Street Trees and Park Trees

From Sup. Scott Wiener:

Maintaining Our Street Trees and Park Trees

We don’t devote nearly enough resources to maintenance of our City’s urban forest. As a result, our park trees are rarely inspected – which can create safety hazards – and the City is gradually turning over responsibility for street trees to adjacent property owners who may or may not want the trees or know how to care for them properly. I am working with var! ious stakeholders to see if we can create a sustainable funding stream for our street and park trees, to ensure that they are properly maintained and that property owners are not required to care for trees unless they want to.

In the meantime, for more information about DPW’s tree maintenance plan, including the transfer of responsibility for certain trees to adjacent property owners, click here. In addition, you can contact DPW’s Urban Forestry Division at or (415) 554-7336.

NOTE:  Rec/Park + DPW + GPA will be co-hosting a community meeting on this topic soon



1 Comment

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One response to “Maintaining Our Street Trees and Park Trees

  1. Trees in the parks aren’t maintained because the Rec & Park Dept chooses to spend more money on destroying them than maintaining them. In the last $185 million park bond, only $4 million was allocated for tree maintenance, while $5 million was allocated for the Natural Areas Program to implement its plan to destroy trees in the so-called “natural areas.”

    The $4 million for tree maintenance only paid for an evaluation of the trees in the parks and the removal of the trees in Stern Grove that had been evaluated as hazardous nearly 10 years ago in 2003 and Park Presidio that was evaluated in 2008.

    The evaluation is horrifying: The urban forestry division of Rec & Park is so inadequately staffed that it can only respond to specific requests, usually to remove trees after they have fallen. There is no reforestation effort in any park except Golden Gate Park. The evaluation predicts that the golf courses will be virtually treeless soon. Without the windbreak provided by the trees, the golf courses will be uncomfortable and probably unused.

    It’s a problem that isn’t difficult to fix if you just choose to spend what money you have differently. If you choose to spend your money destroying trees at a time of budgetary constraints you don’t have the money to maintain the ones you have or to replace the ones you are rapidly losing to the lack of maintenance. This imbalance could be remedied by the next park bond fund if the voters have the wisdom to do so.

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