Fairfax Trees on Pastori to be Removed, Replaced

Sidewalk construction would make eight trees bordering a Good Earth parking lot too unstable, according to an arborist.


The Fairfax Town Council unanimously approved the removal of eight trees on Pastori Avenue at a special meeting on Oct. 20.

The Liquidamber trees border the east side of Good Earth’s east parking lot and range in size from 32 inches to 48 inches. An arborist otwn officials hired determined the trees need to be removed because they wouldn’t be structurally sound after a new sidewalk is installed this fall.

The new sidewalk and retaining wall on Pastori Avenue, funded by the Federal Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program, are part of Fairfax officials’ efforts to improve pedestrian, bicycle and other non-motorized transportation, according to the resolution the council adopted with the decision to remove the trees. A copy of the resolution is attached at the right. 

Town officials selected B&M Construction to build the sidewalk and work began on Oct. 16. It was earlier, on Oct. 10, when the contractor, interim town manager and two engineers met to evaluate the trees, which would have major root damage done during the construction. 

Interim Town Manager Judy Anderson said she decided to call a council meeting to make a decision about the trees because she wasn’t comfortable making the call on her own (and the town doesn’t have a public works director). 

Ray Moritz, a consulting arborist, said the trees have structural defects that compromise their health, stability and longevity. He found the “existing tree conditions in conjunction with construction requirements would create a high risk of tree failure and a threat to people and property.”

Mortiz recommended the trees be removed and replaced with at least 15 24-inch box trees - which wouldn't create root damage to the town infrastructure. Mortiz and the landscape architect for the Fairfax-Anselm Plaza will determine which tree species are best for the site. 

“They are beautiful trees. We don’t take trees out lightly,” Anderson told Patch. 

The town council first held a special meeting on Oct. 16 to discuss the status of the trees. At that meeting, Good Earth representatives and the property owner expressed concerns about removing the trees, according to the tree removal resolution.

Councilmembers Ryan O’Neil and Vice Mayor John Reed did not attend the Oct. 20 meeting when the council approved the resolution.

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Life in the Bubble October 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Generally there is no profit from relatively young "yard trees." In fact, you have to pay to dispose of them. Mills won't accept trees like this, nor will they accept 98% of "yard trees" because they often have metal and other foreign matter in them which can damage milling equipment. Unless you have something really unusual (large black walnut, old growth redwood/cedar, exotic hardwoods, etc.), they just end up at the dump. The best recycled life they'll likely see is firewood in a couple years. These 8 trees might produce a few cords at best. $250-350/cord for soft wood is about right. That's after cutting it, loading it, hauling it, splitting it, letting it season for 2 years, and storing it for 2+ years, and sometimes delivery. The wood is pretty much worthless, it's the labor, trucking, and storage that's valuable. Sadly, that's the economic reality of domesticated trees.
Jeffrey Gimzek October 26, 2012 at 09:57 PM
a) Off Topic b) Are Good Earth employees enduring some horrid exploitation none of us have ever heard about? Unions are generally a response to working conditions and lack of accountability in Management.
Arvid P. Sloan October 26, 2012 at 11:52 PM
You tell me Jeffrey? Do the workers at Good Earth have health insurance and benefits like union workers at Untied or Andronico's? I dont have facts. But I am curious. My experience with so called right livelyhood new age type people is that they talk a good game but dont go out of their way to help the working class. We need unions. The weekend wasn't a gift from God. People fought hard and some lost their lives fighting for the working class.
Sierra Salin October 27, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Trees were removed today.
Ralph October 27, 2012 at 03:24 PM
While conflict of interest comments have merit, comments re tree species are curious. Liquid Amber is the single worst species of tree planted near street, sidewalk, asphalt, concrete. You can fill a folder of printed references indicating as much. Or you can look to the Parade parking area. For some reason, Fairfax tops the LA's there. This topping causes the trunks to bulge and the roots to easily breakup the soft concrete. Replacing the Liquid Amber w/ Liquid Amber would be a poor choice.


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