Archive for the ‘Tree Data’ Category

55 trees planted in Jeffrey Fontana & TJ Martin parks

On December 16th & January 6th., Our City Forest (OCF) held “Planting Parties” and a total of 55 new trees were planted in our Jeffrey Fontana & TJ Martin parks. The new trees were planted in select locations and in areas where dead or dying trees needed to be replaced. The professional staff of Our City Forest managed the program and provided direction and tools.

From left to right are MFPA Vice-President Richard Zahner, MFPA President Rod Carpenter, District 10 Councilmember Johnny Khamis, and OCF Planting Manager Rob Castaneda

These plantings were a major “once in a decade” opportunity and the Martin Fontana Parks Association Board of Directors wants to give a big “Thank You” to the OCF staff, MFPA members, and all the other volunteers who came out and helped make it a success.

This program was initiated by PG&E early in 2017 when they asked the MFPA Board to partner with them to find locations for new trees to replace the ones they were required to remove along Almaden Expressway.  A team of MFPA members created a ‘Planting Plan’ for consideration of the City Park Staff and PG&E.  The PG&E planting guidelines that limit the mature tree height for any trees under the lines were taken in to account during the negotiations. This avoids any possible contact with the lines and costly annual tree trimming.

Our plan was adopted in principle by PG&E and used in negotiations with the City and County. PG&E finished the removal of over 150 trees along Alamaden Expressway in late summer and then provided funding to OCF to plant replacements in our parks.  MFPA finalized the Planting Plan locations and the OCF Arborist coordinated tree selection with the City and PG&E.

From left to right are District 10 Councilmember Johnny Khamis, MFPA Project Manager Dave Poeschel, OCF rep, Brian O’Neill, and two others.

The trees were of the 15-gallon size from the OCF nursery. The City will provide water for a three-year program to assure survival of these young trees and OCF will manage the watering. Our continuing responsibility will be to support the OCF watering and report problems, if and when they occur.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We hope you, your children, and future neighbors, will enjoy all the new trees and a have an attractive parks for decades.

 

 

 

District 10 sets aside $250,000 for Guadalupe Oak Grove Park woodland management

On December 4, 2017, Mollie Tobias of the City’s Adopt-a-Park program and her crew, including our Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services maintenance team, supported the Swath Project in the Guadalupe Oak Grove Park.  You may recall that the Swath is a section of our park, between the east and central trails, 30 foot wide and about 420 foot long, in which 1-year Blue and Valley Oak seedlings were flagged.

These small ‘starts’ have been out competed by Coast Live Oak saplings for years.  They are encroaching from two main areas: the dog-park entry area, near the Villas of Almaden and the main GOGP entry off of Thorntree.  As a result, our open Blue and Valley oak woodland on the Valley floor has been transitioning to a closed Oak woodland.  It was initially thought that the Blue and Valley oaks were not regenerating.  However, Lee Pauser, Dave Poeschel and I found that these starts were there and were just being out-competed by Coast Live Oak saplings and the unmanaged European grasses.

The idea of the Swath is to demonstrate this regeneration by removing the Coast Live Oak saplings, then caging the Blue and Valley Oak starts to protect them from wildlife, providing occasional summer water, and promoting their establishment through the removal of weeds and grasses adjacent to these starts. Preserving the unique GOGP (one of the last two remaining Valley and Oak woodlands in the Santa Clara Valley) requires woodland management and Monday’s effort is a first step!   Thanks to the commitment of District 10 and our Councilman Johnny Khamis, funding at a level of $250K has been set-aside to involve H.T. Harvey and Associates, environmental consultants, in the woodland management of this park!

We ant to thank the dozen volunteers from the Signifyd Company for their help in coordination with project leads Lee Pauser and I.  Ninety-five percent of the scheduled work was performed between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. on the workday!  I’m sure there will be a lot of sore muscles and a few bruises at Signifyd come Tuesday!

Park users should see a notable difference in the condition of the park in the area of the Swath.  This is illustrated in the photo comparison below.

Thanks again to all involved.

Patrick Pizzo

 

Dozens of trees going to be planted in TJ Martin & Jeffrey Fontana parks

Our City Forest demonstrates how it’s done

The following is a San Jose Mercury News article by | jbaum@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group on

“The trees will replace those removed earlier this year under Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s gas pipeline safety program.”

“Workers from Our City Forest and the Martin-Fontana Parks Association will provide the new trees during two planting parties at the parks, one on Dec. 16 and the other on Jan. 6. Another couple dozen trees will be planted in the Shadow Brook neighborhood by the local neighborhood association with help from Our City Forest on Dec. 2, according to Councilman Johnny Khamis.”

To read the rest of the story go to Tree Planting.

According to Martin-Fontana Parks Association Director, Richard Zahner, the City’s Parks, Recreation, & Neighborhood Services has committed to provide the water needed to establish the 55 trees. Our City Forest has committed to watering the trees and providing care such as trimming and shaping to assure their survival through the first three years. At that time the trees should be established and should require no more than the routine care provided by PRNS.   In practice the first year will the most demanding, requiring 15 gallons per week.

‘Tree Gator’, a type of plastic water bag

A ‘Tree Gator’, a type of plastic water bag, may be used to control and concentrate the water where it is most beneficial. Watering will be incrementally reduced over the second and third years to promote healthy roots and sustainable growth.

Richard also serves as the Park Planning and Improvement Chairperson for MFPA.

 

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park “Cluster-Buster” project completed

This morning, Patrick Pizzo and Lee Pauser implemented a “Cluster-Buster” plan, cleared with the City of San Jose- PRNS (Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services), in the Guadalupe Oak Grove Park.  This work was done near the J. Fontana West entry to the GOGP near the dog park.  The ‘cluster’ was a group of Quercus agrifolia saplings, encircling a ‘mother’ tree at the intersection of two of the main park trails in the GOGP.  One can identify the area by the tree-trimmings just adjacent the trail.  The trimmings should be gone by mid-week.   The before and after photos  of the work-area are illustrated below.

Why was this done?  The mature trees that define the oak woodland at this entry point, and throughout much of the flat-plain of our park, are Quercus douglasii (Blue Oak) and Quercus lobata (Valley Oak).  They are deciduous native oaks.  The trees in our park are at least 200 years old, especially the Blue Oak (very slow growing).  The Q. Agrifolia is an evergreen tree, and it is a recent entry to our park.  It is concentrated near the main entry to GOGP and in the area at the S-W corner, near the Villas of Almaden.   It is prolific in the urban area surrounding the GOGP, it is fast growing, and it is rapidly becoming a dominant tree. It’s acorns thrive on the valley floor.  Q. agrifolia out competes the Blue and Valley oaks.  Leaving nature take its course would convert the park from an open oak woodland to a closed oak woodland.  Note too that Q. agrifolia is subject to sudden-oak-death (S.O.D.) whereas the Blue and Valley Oaks are not.  So in addition to becoming a closed oak woodland, the GOGP would be more susceptible to S.O.D. issues.

The cluster in our subject-title is one of the young Coast Live Oaks (CLO) saplings that surround the edge of the canopy of the established CLO’s.  They were out competing young Blue and Valley oak saplings in that area.  Proof of this became evident when these saplings were removed; among the saplings were Blue and Valley seedlings which are now open to direct sunlight, the conditions required to establish these trees.  We found about 30 Blue and Valley Oak seedlings among the CLO saplings!   If we are vigilant in removing subsequent CLO seedlings and if we remove the circle of European grasses and weeds that will surround each of them, (they too out-compete the Blue and Valley Oak starts, by grabbing moisture and nutrients), come Spring, we can get the Blue and Valley Oak seedlings to survive 3 years to four years out, it should allow them sufficient time to get established.  In this way, we will be preserving the GOGP.

If you want proof of the spreading of Q. agrifolia evergreen trees in the park, go to Google Earth and look at the historical aerial views.  One can see the expansion of the CLO footprint throughout the park.

Please don’t pick the flowers. Oops! I meant to say FLAGS….

 

 

You may have seen green/blue and red irrigation flags in one area of Guadalupe Oak Grove Park between two of the main walking trails.  These flags represent a project being done in cooperation with District 10.  They mark a 30 foot-wide swath from trail to trail, and all the one-year old, baby Valley and Blue Oak shoots that are growing within.  These shoots are to be ‘caged’ in chicken wire cages to protect them, watered and encouraged to live as they are to be the replacement trees for the Blue and Valley Oak trees we are losing to the extended drought and other issues.  The flags are there because after the deciduous native oak trees drop their leaves they will be ‘invisible’ but for the subsequent caging.  Blue and Valley Oaks will not regenerate due to the high-weed and grass load in the park and the out-competing Coast Live Oaks which are overtaking the open Savannah.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

 

 

 

Pat Pizzo

PG&E will PAY to have OCF plant a tree in your front yard

Replacement trees will be planted before the end of the year to replace all those removed from Almaden Expressway as part of the PG&E Gas Line Safety Program. Your Martin-Fontana Parks Association has negotiated for allocating 55 trees to the two parks and a few to replace dead street trees on adjacent streets.

All new trees will be selected and planted by Our City Forest, a non-profit dedicated to planting trees through out the City.

If you have room for a new tree, please send an email to SaveOurParkTrees@gmail.com to be considered. We have a limited number of trees for this program so please respond soon and get put on the list. Since the number of trees is limited there is no guarantee that every request will be fulfilled. We will submit a list to OCF soon – Do you want a free tree?

Notes from Martin-Fontana Parks Association President, Rod Carpenter

These last few months have been a very busy time for your Parks Board of Directors.  We have been holding meetings with the City Park’s personnel seeking a letter of understanding as to what our relationship is in keeping our parks the way we would all like to see them.  It is our hope we can share a positive outcome with all of you by the time our next newsletter comes out.

The Board of Directors has purchased a Gopher X machine to help eliminate the infestation of gophers within our parks.  This will supplement the efforts of the Parks Recreation and Neighborhood Services Dept. in the months to come. It is our goal to eliminate the many holes that riddle our grassy areas and make it impossible to walk on.  Training will be given by the City’s PRNS Department and if you would like to be trained and want to volunteer your time in this effort, please let us know.

 

Robert Braunstein, a member of our Board of Directors, has produced a 30 second video spot which features the efforts of the Martin-Fontana Parks Association.  If you haven’t already seen it, just click on the video below and let us know what you think of it.

 

Thank you to our member negotiating team dealing with PG&E, led by Dick Stevens and Richard Zahner, in bringing to a conclusion another successful outcome in saving and preserving the life of the trees in our parks.  Also a thank you to PG&E for hearing our concerns and eliminating only those trees that were of necessity.

I am pleased to announce that our Board of Directors will be honoring its many volunteers on Saturday, September 16th.  Invitations will be mailed in August.  Volunteers are the life-blood of our organization and we look forward to saying “thank you” to these very special people.

Rod Carpenter