Root rot has rendered fragile a stately, picturesque -- and now doomed -- Portola Valley oak tree located between Portola Road and the parking lot of the Historic Schoolhouse at 765 Portola Road. The portion of the tree overhanging the road is dead and a major limb overhanging the parking lot has a crack in it, Town Manager Nick Pegueros said.
The specter of a falling limb is of particular significance in that the Thursday afternoon farmers' markets take place in this parking lot in the immediate vicinity of this tree. A tree trimming service will be removing as much hazardous material as possible today before the 1 p.m. set-up time for the market, and the area of the parking lot under the tree will be coned off, Mr. Pegueros said.
The town learned of the root rot on Wednesday after a tree service technician cut through an eight-inch limb and found it "completely dead," Mr. Pegueros said. "What we know right now is that the tree cannot be saved." The height and bulk of this tree means that it will require a crane and that technicians will need more than one day to take it down, he said. "We're moving as quickly as we can," he added.
"It's unfortunate because it is truly one of the most remarkable trees that I've seen on this campus," Mr. Pegueros said. "It's just a beautiful tree."
The town is expecting a complete arborist's report with details about the tree's condition later today.