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Want a "Green" City? First, Let's Cut Down the Trees and Destroy Plantings...

Steven Finacom
Saturday July 28, 2018 - 01:17:00 PM

The City of Berkeley's Public Works Department has released a sudden edict stating that all trees in traffic circles in Berkeley will be cut down, the circles will be denuded of most existing plantings, and the City will "take over maintenance", banning the volunteers who have maintained many of the circle plantings at their own expense for years or decades. The only plants allowed will be from a very short list prepared years ago by CalTrans for freeways.

Apparently the tree cutting will happen "within the month". Neighbors are already organizing to stop this, save the mature trees in several of the circles (including California buckeyes and Coastal Live Oaks) and get the policy revised to something more sensible, that will also keep the volunteer component and not unnecessarily add tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to the City's maintenance budget.

Check back here for more details on Sunday or Monday. We'll have a more complete report. A key moment will be at the Council meeting on Tuesday, July 31.