Jeepers Treepers

Treetopping debate continues

Larisa, from Factory 1 Design, writes in to respond to the heated debate raging on the post about treetopping on Stevenson Street. She writes that:

We all work really hard to keep our little corner of the mission awesome and the church blighted our street in an instant.

Two bits of info that were missing are 1) this was done by the greek church and 2) they hired a hauling company to do it. The urban forest guys may not have passed on that info.

There were at least 40-50 nests in those trees.

Illegal tree topping

Ben Carlson from Friends of the Urban Forest informs us of some extreme pruning on Stevenson Street, near The Armory, that basically leaves the trees for dead. The process, known as topping, is illegal in San Francisco, with fines of $1,754 per tree.


[Google Street View]


[San Francisco DPW]

The San Francisco Department of Public Works issued a fine this week of $17,540 to the owner of property in the Mission where trees were “topped” in June. The fine is for $1,754 per tree for 10 topped trees. Topping is an excessive form of pruning that damages and often kills trees, severely diminishes the benefits trees provide, and is illegal in San Francisco (Article 16, Sec. 811 of the Public Works Code).

The DPW and Friends of the Urban Forest were notified by concerned neighbors that the trees, on Stevenson Street adjacent to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, had been “massacred.” One resident observed birds trying to find their nests among the piles of discarded foliage on the ground.

“We’re afraid that incidents of tree topping are likely to rise, because the city is transferring its tree maintenance responsibilities to property owners who don’t know how to care for trees,” said Doug Wildman, program director of Friends of the Urban Forest. “The city’s tree maintenance program is understaffed and underfunded, and consequently our urban forest is in decline. We’re working closely with city officials to identify possible solutions.”

That looks pretty harsh. Why would you want trees that look like that? I happen to really like those trees. Ficus Microcarpa, I believe? They’re what the trees in The Secret Alley are built to resemble. I mean, I’m a plant eater, so obviously I’m not against killing plants, but this just seems lame.

Ben adds:

Anyone who sees a tree being topped, or that has already been topped, should report it to the city, along with the address of the tree, the name of the company or individual responsible for the topping (if known), and a digital photo (if possible). Topping may be reported by calling 311, or by writing to

Property owners can ensure the proper maintenance of their trees by using only ISA-certified arborists. Friends of the Urban Forest maintains a list of such arborists at

For more information about the fine for the Stevenson Street trees, or about the city’s urban forestry program, contact DPW spokesperson Rachel Gordon at 415-554-6045.

Other Things People Take Pictures Of In Dolores Park

This week Potential Past and I both noticed the shadows in the park.
gonna get along without you now
By Potential Past.
The Sun Setting On Dolores Park
By me.

And a bonus comic strip about St. Patty’s Day in the park by Charlotte Drury.

UPDATE: Today Still Sucking!

Oliva sends in another tree mishap on 22nd and Folsom:


Now, how the frank are we expected to move our vintage Volkswagen bugs when they’re all covered with fallen trees?

Well, yeah:

(Sorry about that)

This Just In: Today Sucks!



Fallen tree near 17th and Guerrero.

Thanks to Afonso for the pic.