Montara is losing its big trees

Posted by on Tue, July 13, 2004

These huge stumps at Third and Acacia will be gone by the end of the week. There used to be three trees here.

The sound of chainsaws is becoming as common as that of the surf in Montara.

In ones and twos and threes, Montara’s big trees are sprouting yellow signs and disappearing. Our treeline is moving steadily inland and is now mostly past Acacia.  In the last year, we’ve lost about seven huge trees just a block from our house.

I took a camera with me on my walk with the dog today to record some lost trees. I realized I should have shot them when I knew they were doomed so you could see the before and after views. Walking around Montara, taking pictures of these soon-to-be-missing trees also made me realize how ugly and unavoidable our overhead powerlines are. I could’t keep them out of the pictures. Trees may damage these lines, but they also mitigate their visual impact.

I know that there are often reasons for removing these giants. Most of the big cypresses are nearing the end of their projected lives. A couple of years ago, a big cypress landed in our back yard, flattening our trampoline and nearly flattening the afforementioned dog. Our insurance agent told us we should sue our neighbors to get them to cut down the rest of the trees within striking distance. One neighbor had his huge cypress pruned, which should preserve its life.

I’m not sure what Montara will look like when all its big trees are gone.

This tree on Main Street is the one that finally got me to go out and take these pictures.
Franklin Street still retains some of its cathedral-like feel despite the loss of three big trees earlier this year.  The trees on this street were badly damaged by the same big storm that dumped a cypress in our back yard.
Traffic barriers and stumps mark two former giants removed from Franklin earlier this year.
Even this stump (also on Franklin) is a monster. Now, it’s a canvas for graffiti.

It is a problem. We have two pretty big pines in our yard which we have been told by a ‘tree specialist’ will have to come down within a year or two (at the cost of $3000), the reason is ‘Monterey beatle’, he said it is rampant in Montara. Weird though, I can’t find any information on this bug anywhere. Also people cut or trim trees to improve their views. You can have power lines buried in your street it only costs between $5-8,000 per house! Surely a tree can only be taken down if given a permit by the authorites? Maybe a careful photographic record should be kept?