Archive for February 16th, 2011

MFPA comes to an Agreement with PG&E

On February 16, 2011, representatives from PG&E and Martin-Fontana Parks Association met and reached an agreement on the phase 2 winter removals, trimming, and plans for the parks under the high tension power lines.

Originally, PG&E had decided to remove 16 trees by the end of February. After three meetings with PG&E, the number of removals was reduced to 7 trees. By the end of this month PG&E will have crews out and working in the parks. (All trees, on these lists, are identified by a numbered medallion attached to them, and in addition, those marked for removal have a yellow caution ribbon strung around them).

Trees in list C will have their growth monitored and evaluated throughout the year.

A.        These trees will be removed:

#2        Flowering Plum                          TJ Martin West

#5        Sycamore                                     TJ Martin East

#14      Flowering Plum                         Fontana West

#18      Holly Oak                                     Fontana West

#19      Three Coastal Live Oaks*     Fontana West

*The three Coastal Live Oaks are on the Villa’s fence line near the dog parks. We have since learned that they play a vital role as part of a privacy and sound screen for Villas neighbors. We will work to mitigate their removal by planting new shrubbery if the trees cannot be topped or trimmed.  See photos.

B.        These trees will be trimmed and/or topped:

#1                    Pine                                    TJ Martin West

#6                   Liquid Amber                 TJ Martin East

#7, 8,9,12   Sycamores                       TJ Martin East

#20                Golden Rain                    Fontana West

C.        The following trees were placed on watch/monitor list:

#3                    Flowering Plum            TJ Martin West

#10 & 11        Pistachios                       TJ Martin East

#15                  Coastal Live Oak          Fontana

#16 & 17        Crepe Myrtles              Fontana

2 Crepe Myrtles (no numbers)        Fontana

MFPA Negotiating Team Update

Dear Neighbors

This coming Wednesday our MFPA Negotiating Team will meet with PG&E representatives to discuss their list of trees to be trimmed and cut.  This will be our third meeting with them since December 2010.

PG&E submitted a list of 26 trees for cutting or trimming at the our third meeting on February 1st.  MFPA agreed with PG&E on 16 of the trees which were marked for trimming or topping.  The following topics are the results of our agreements with PG&E to this point:

1.  We have agreed that three trees in TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks should be cut.  These trees are by the Villas fence and are growing as very tall wild bushes.  The trees to be cut have been tagged and have a “caution” tape around their trunks.

2.  Five trees originally marked for removal by PG&E will be left alone.  Three are healthy, two are dead or dying.

3.  On private land near the park, one tree will be removed and two others trimmed or topped.  We have told PG&E to notify the property owners to ensure they can comment on their plans.

4. They will be trimming/topping six trees in our two parks.

We disagree on a list of ten trees still marked for removal by  PG&E later this month.

We are using actual tree and wire measurement data to determine which trees, if any, are a threat to the power lines that cannot be remedied by pruning.  Based on our study so far, we believe there are two trees of the 10 trees that may be candidates for removal.

We believe the use of our data will present a strong case to PG&E to either monitor or prune most of the trees slated for cutting, since there is no safety issue involved at this time.  If they override our recommendation, it may be appropriate for the community to rise up and express our position, just as we did last year, saving Tree #13.

In parallel with this effort we are keeping the City Parks Department and Councilmember Pyle’s office informed.

In summary, instead of removing the 140 trees PG&E identified for cutting last year, they are methodically removing trees from our parks in smaller numbers.  Each year they will evaluate the trees to decide which to cut.  Each year we have to constantly remind them that these are parks, trees belong here, pruning should be the first recourse and cutting the last resort.

We will give you an update with the final outcome when negotiations with PG&E are concluded.  If you have any questions/comments, please contact me.  Thank you.


Linda Wilson


Martin – Fontana Park Association