News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 07/16/2013
Subject :

University Avenue Street Tree Maintenance Work Begins
Contact : Walter Passmore, Urban Forester    650-496-5986
Palo Alto, CA – The City is starting street tree maintenance work along University Avenue between Middlefield Road and the northeastern City limit at San Francisquito Creek from now through early fall. This work, performed by West Coast Arborists, Inc., is part of a larger tree maintenance contract with the City. Work hours will occur Mondays through Saturdays from 7 AM until 5 PM and all efforts will be taken to minimize disruptions to the flow of traffic. 

There are 283 street trees along this corridor, the vast majority being Southern Magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora). The primary work activity will be pruning to ensure clearance for vehicles, pedestrians and structures. The project is also aimed at improving public safety along the street and creating long-term structural integrity of the trees. The work will also include a limited number of tree removals, that will occur mostly in late summer and early fall. 

Due to long-term decline, decay or structural defects, 23 magnolia trees on University Avenue and two others nearby on Hale Street will be removed later this summer. In addition, two small volunteer trees growing adjacent to street trees will be removed. 

According to Urban Forester Walter Passmore, "Tree maintenance is scheduled on a recurring cycle of approximately seven years. The fact that we have such a small percentage of tree removals that are needed indicates that our tree population as a whole in this area of the City is in good condition."

There are four magnolias on University Avenue that will be removed soon due to public safety concerns. These trees are located at 970 University (27 inch diameter), 1030 University (27 inch diameter), 1405 University (27 inch diameter) and 1410 University (41 inch diameter). One of the leaf-less and dead trees to be removed soon is seen in the photo.

Later this fall, 11 replacement trees will be planted where appropriate sites have been identified. Planting will be delayed to wait for cooler, wetter weather that will improve the survival of the trees. Some trees will not be replaced because of conflicts with underground utility lines or competition from private trees and vegetation. Replacements for those tree removals will be planted in off-site locations that will better accommodate their growth patterns and space requirements.

Questions can be directed to the Urban Forestry Section of the Public Works Department at (650) 496-5953 or more information found at