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Belle Haven, East Palo Alto have far fewer trees than neighboring communities. Groups like Canopy hope to change that

Original post made on Dec 25, 2021

Community members are up bright and early on Nov. 20 at All Five, a preschool in Menlo Park's Belle Haven neighborhood. And they're hard at work. By the end of the event, they'll have planted 17 trees on the school grounds.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, December 25, 2021, 7:52 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Dec 25, 2021 at 10:31 am

Alan is a registered user.

What shouldn't get lost on people is that the water table and soil is different in Belle Haven and East Palo Alto than on the other side of 101. It can support more trees than it has now, but smaller trees may do better. The right plants will thrive.


Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Dec 27, 2021 at 7:04 am

Resident is a registered user.

East Palo Alto resident here. Dovetailing off the comment about eco system differences between the bay land we live on here and the forested eco systems (west Redwood City) that were, and still are found west of 101, why is Canopy using money and resources to plant trees that are not natural to our eco system and take special care to survive here?

The differences in trees mentioned in the article is just related as “tree canopy” Why not rate the amount of actual trees? I literally have seven trees in my yard. My neighbors have 5 and 3. I see trees in most yards on my daily walks and runs through my neighborhood. Is the “tree canopy” difference based on the fact that most of our trees are lower canopied fruit trees?

Most of mine are, I much prefer having fruit and space to plant vegetables in the summer than having endless shade. My guess is that endless shade may not be the thing most wanted by residents in EPA that the money and people power of Canopy could work on. Especially when our temperature highs of upper 80s are not too intolerable.

Why not go around and do an actual tree count before coming up with plans like this? Canopy differences will be extreme when comparing a forest to a meadow or grassland. Why not use some actual environmental knowledge to back the most sustainable and useful way to address issues instead of cosmetics?

One last thing about my runs and walks. There are very few trees on the bay trail east of 84. Again, a forest is different than bay land. Thank you for your efforts and intent though Canopy


Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2021 at 9:40 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

I’m here to echo the previous two comments. Also, there’s a visible difference in the canopies - - density and tree type - - on East Palo Alto’s east side (bay side) and the west side. You see this type of difference up and down the Peninsula, often close to both sides of the 101 corridor. It’s super obvious in San Mateo, for example. A lot of the housing rapidly built post-WWII didn’t plant trees along sidewalks, and that’s visible in San Carlos, San Mateo, East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, Belmont.

East Palo Alto was also unincorporated for a long time, and there’s a lot of infrastructure differences and landscape differences that are visible in communities like this. You see similarities in North Fair Oaks, East Palo Alto and Menlo Oaks.

This article does mention landlord neglect of trees and that is a serious and dangerous problem in East Palo Alto. I appreciate Canopy’s work but I also appreciate the previous two comments.


Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2022 at 7:08 pm

Resident is a registered user.

Seeing that this article is now appearing in the Palo Alto version of this publication, would it be possible for the Almanac/Palo Alto Online reporting staff to quantify the “far fewer trees” mentioned in the title?

In the article, “canopy” differences are the only thing quantified, not the numeric differences in trees. I think the arborists volunteering for Canopy could recognize that even lower canopied trees (as long as they have a trunk) count as trees.

We do have far more bay land than neighboring communities. That must count for something


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