Town Square

Illegal removal of heritage trees in Woodside

Original post made by I Speak For the Trees, Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline, on Mar 2, 2007

Or, If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?

Recent Almanac articles have documented the plight of large heritage trees which have been removed both with and without permits in downtown Woodside.

Currently, there is an application for “After-the-Fact removal of vegetation including approximately 2-3 dozen trees and ground cover” before the San Mateo County Planning and Building Department for a lot in Woodside. This lot is off Skyline Boulevard, where not many people would know that the trees had been felled. Yet, these dozens of native trees, many of them over 100 years old, were illegally removed, devastating the previously pristine forest.

Why were these trees systematically sawed down? County officials acknowledge that it is common for homeowners to remove trees in advance of applying for development permits.

If heritage trees are removed to make way for some future improvement project that would otherwise have to be located elsewhere, then granting a permit is nothing less than a reward for illegal behavior.

When a landowner demonstrates a complete disregard for the forest and heritage trees, it is imcumbent on the governing body to enforce the laws that exist to protect those precious resources. This silent devastation on the diminishing number of large trees that block a view or hinder a house location needs to have a proponent. Citizens should be made aware this is happening and voice their opinions.

Your newspaper has been a voice for the trees recently. This latest group of trees merits your attention.

I Speak For the Trees, Woodside, CA