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'Who doesn't love trees?'

Original post made on Mar 30, 2010

A tree in front of Starbucks, on Prospect Avenue, crashed to the ground the very day before the tree removal began at the Veterans Hall across the street. Sandee Wiedemann, a Veterans Hall volunteer, offers fresh insight into its tree removal.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 2:59 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by Kathy
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Nothing can justify the awful, malicious decision by the VMB Development Committee and the Danville Town Council to destroy our heritage trees and deprive us and future residents of these magnificent redwoods and cedars. They simply cannot be replaced. What in the world were you thinking?

We expect the town council to act in the best interests of the residents. In this case, they did not live up to their responsibility.

Posted by Kim
a resident of Danville
on Mar 31, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Kathy, the article states, "Redwood and Cedar trees have shallow root structures and were not appropriate for this downtown site. Besides the threat of uprooting, the trees' surface roots grew to create a hazard, and the area around the trees has become uneven." I know the trees are wonderful to have in our town, but I care much more about the safety of our citizens than preserving nature that could potentially cause harm.

Posted by Paul
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 9:31 am

I agree whole heartedly with Kathy above. What were they thinking when
they cut down all the trees surrounding the building.

It now looks so sparse and naked. Those were fairly mature trees which took years to grow and looked so nice during the Holidays when thet were lite up. Just standing there with or without lights thsy looked beautiful.

Shame on who ever made that decision. You should be fired!

Posted by Roark
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 9:39 am

From this article, it sounds like Sandee Weidemann has a guilty conscience. Well Sandee ... the crime has been committed and you have to live with it. You will have to live with the knowledge that you played a part in sanctioning the destruction of those spectacular 70 year old trees. I hope you are reminded of your crime every time you visit the corner of Prospect and Hartz.

Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 9:53 am

Kathy- "what were they thinking?"- READ the article- They were concerned about OUR safety. Starting a sentence "Nothing can Justify.." shows your narrow mindedness. I'm extremely glad that Kathy, Paul and Roark ARE not on our town council!

Posted by Tree Lover
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 10:19 am

Dear Sandee,

Thank you for putting the safety of our community first!!! I absolutely love redwood trees and these were especially beautiful, however, the have a reputation for coming down hard. Thanks for going with the expert opinions and making the right decision.

I have a hard time believing that if one of those trees landed on any of the complainers above, they wouldn't immediately sue the town of Danville for leaving the trees in place, against the advice of experts!

Posted by Longtime Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 11:09 am

The justification that these trees needed to be removed for safety reasons is pure hogwash. Anyone who looked closely at these trees could see that they were perfectly healthy. They lived for nearly 70 years and could have lived for centuries more if they had not been cut down in their youth.

I have been in the consulting business and I know full well how it works. As long as you are paying the bill, they will tell you what you want to hear. In this case, for every so called expert that you can find to tell you the trees needed to be removed, I can find 10 that will offer the opposite opinion.

The removal of these trees was unnecessary. It only became "necessary" when the town council decided they wanted an expanded Veterans Hall on this site. The new Veterans Hall could have been built elsewhere in town. Why couldn’t they have removed one of the many unsightly and decrepit buildings we have downtown and used that site for the Veterans Hall? This alternative would have allowed us to keep our redwood and cedar trees.

Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 11:37 am

I too have some problems your explanation Sandee, though I do understand you are a volunteer and trying to provide feedback. The sidewalk probably needed some modifications, as many walkways do where trees are planted, but these redwoods were not diseased in the least. I strolled under them many, many times. None had ever toppled in decades of strong winds.
I'm sorry if someone got sap in their hair - I'm sure that was a mess - but this is the nature of living things. I've been pooped on by squirrels while wearing a brand new shirt. What am I going to do - shoot every rodent in Danville?
At the very least the trees could have been left another few months instead of being slashed at the start of the year. The Vet's Hall was architecturally ugly the day it was rendered, and it remains so today in it's bare exposure. Can an out-of-place glass north face improve it's appearance? Not sure anything could make it uglier, but that glass facade seems like it will be utterly out of place on Prospect to me. It is hard to say for sure just from the drawings that are on display. One idea no one seemed to discuss was using the basement (the Hall does have one the whole footprint I think? Maybe not?) more fully.
In any case, these redwoods were not some rogue patch of crabgrass - they were by the town's own criteria "heritage" trees as Kathy stated.
Please City of Danville - no more ill-conceived "improvements".

Posted by reddy sap
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm

redwood trees do have shallower roots then other trees the same size so besides being libilties from falling in a storm they release that sap in a large area during the yr. i remember parking near there[not under any tree] and my car got bombarded with took hours to hand wash it off after taking it to a car wash .We parked far away tHe next day we were in town buying local.thank you council for getting rid of trees wll be planted that will be less dangerous i hope. lets get a expert on trees that WILL NOT raise the sidewalks too..thats another story about bumpy sidewalks from tree roots. so ignore the whiners they will whine about all and anything..your job is hard and they didnt volunteer for it!

Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Gosh Reddy, I see your point. Let's grab our axes and get to work. Once we've eliminated all the pesky car-soiling redwoods in Danville we can get after those nasty Douglas Firs and Sycamores. Then maybe an errant oaks and fruit trees. Let me know when you have the chain saw gassed up.

Posted by Barbara
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Please Town of Danville PLANT SOME MORE TREES! Cutting them down takes away some charm, if safety is a concern for the existing trees and you cut them down, plant another someplace else, placed where you want it - and where it's safe!

Consult your tree experts, pick a tree and plant it somewhere, the sooner the better. You have got to get the jist, people like trees.

Posted by Resident 47 years
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Good Lord!!! Wear a scarf, put on a hat, if you choose to sit under a tree. Maybe it was a bird dropping, what ever!!! Don't park under a tree!! Use common sense!! But don't use these pathetic reasons for the massacre of those magnificent trees. There is absolutely no excuse for what happened. If you dislike trees that much ... live in the dessert! What an appalling bunch of insensitive Neanderthals!! You seem to have no clue what was lost! Shame

Posted by Pedal power
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Greenery is what makes an established neighborhood. No amount of architectural splendor can compare with the right tree in the right place, and, trees can make even a mediocre building into a beautiful setting.

I agree with the call to plant more trees and take care of the ones we have, if necessary by modifying the sidewalk. Greenery and shade, when the weather gets hotter.

And when parking, I'll take a bit of sap over coming back to a boiling car any day.

Posted by TL Nelson
a resident of Danville
on Apr 2, 2010 at 12:58 am

I should have known something was up when the town council decided to take redwood trees off of the protected list last year. They clearly had an objective in mind at that time. I believe the destruction of these trees on the corner of Prospect and Hartz qualifies as pre-meditated murder. It was plotted, planned and executed.

If I have learned anything from this, it is that we cannot trust our elected officials to do the right thing.

Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Apr 2, 2010 at 8:09 am

A tree growing in front of Starbucks topples over because its roots were eaten away. Can you imagine what it does to you to drink that stuff?

Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Apr 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Indeed. It was probably suffering from JTS (Jittery Tree Syndrome).

Posted by collins
a resident of Danville
on Apr 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm

I completely agree with TL Nelson. If Redwood Trees are so dangerous, then let us all band together with chain saws and go to Muir Woods. Were the roors shallow on those pesky Cedar trees in front, as well? Interesting that all those trees had root problems at the SAME TIME!
This is something that the citizens of Danville should have had a chance to vote on.
I suppose that all the replacement trees will match the other trees planted on Hartz! If I wanted to live in a cookie cutter neighborhood, I would have moved to San Ramon 25 years ago.
And remember "Only God can make a tree". Shame on you Town Council!

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