Archive for the ‘Tree Data’ Category

LAST DAY to take the Guadalupe Oak Grove Park survey is Dec 31, 2014

The GOGP Survey has an end-date of December 31, 2014. If you have not completed the survey, please do so. We would greatly appreciate it.

GOGP Walkthru

Our walkabouts have been completed. If however, you have a group of 8 or more people who would like a tour to access the park condition, please contact Patrick Pizzo at the following e-mail address:

We will try to accommodate your need.

There has been some confusion about how to access the survey. You can get to the survey via the following links: or

Once you are there, click on the underscored and bolded word ‘survey‘ near the bottom of the page.

Thank you for participating. Patrick P. Pizzo

P.S. The results of the survey will be posted on the Martin-Fontana Park Association (MFPA) web page.

Note: To be sure you don’t miss the posting of the results, you can add your email address to the box on the right side of the home page and you will be notified of any new post by email.

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A Meeting with Mayoral Candidates Sam Liccardo & Dave Cortese

Last summer Martin-Fontana Parks Association invited both mayoral candidates to attend a Board meeting and discuss park issues with us. Councilman Liccardo responded and will be at the Villas Clubhouse at 2:00 PM on Wed. Oct. 15. We received no response from Supervisor Cortese’s campaign.
When: 2-2:45 PM, Wednesday Oct. 15
Where: The Villas at 5883 Meridian Ave.  At the main gate, enter 004 at the kiosk, then, when the gate opens, proceed through to the first right hand turn to the clubhouse.


We just learned that mayoral candidate Dave Cortese will be joining us today at the Villas to address our park issues. The first candidate, Sam Liccardo, will be with us from 2:00 to 2:30. Candidate Cortese will be with us from 3:00 to 3:30. We have given each candidate a list of questions to address on park issues. We are, by law, not allowed to endorse candidates. We are, as a nonprofit, allowed to campaign for issues that directly affect our interest, which is our parks.
Please join us to hear what each candidate has to say about our parks. This is a one issue meeting only. The candidates have been asked to address our park concerns and have a limited 30 minute window each to spend with us



Antiquated irrigation
Rodent damage
Funding for adequate time and personnel for maintenance
Requiring permit process for PG&E to cut trees
Protection of urban forest under PG&E lines
Working relationship between San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services and nonprofits such as MFPA


We encourage all members to attend if your schedule permits.
Support your local neighborhood parks. if we don’t, no one will!


Why all the Green Ribbons around trees?

You’ve seen them in both of our Jeffrey Fontana & TJ Martin parks: bright green ribbons fluttering in the spring breeze, decorating trees.  What do they mean?  How did they get there?
The answer: Members of our Martin-Fontana Parks Association are helping Our City Forest celebrate their organization’s 20th anniversary, and are honoring their site stewards, MFPA, Scout Troop 262, TJ Martin Neighborhood Association, the Daisy Brownie troop from Los Alamitos, Scout Pack 340, and other volunteers, by marking almost 200 trees we have helped plant since Dec 2010.
Ribbons have been placed in both Jeffrey Fontana & TJ Martin parks to thank everybody and raise awareness of the importance of our urban forest.  And for our Green Amigos out there, don’t worry, sustainability is a main priority at Our City Forest, and they’ll be reusing the ribbons for further projects after they come down in the fall. If you’d like to volunteer with this program, or learn more about Our City Forest’s programs and services, contact them for more information!

Weep for our Willow Tree

Around the 15th of May our large Willow tree decided to shed more branches.  This is the Willow tree in the northeast corner of Jeffrey Fontana Park not far from Alamden Expressway.  Back in 2010 it used to look like this:

East side of Willow  6-27-13

In Dec of 2012 she shed her first branch.
In Dec of 2012 the Willow shed the first branch.
Then this month two more limbs were shed.
photo 1
It looks like one of the limbs broke off from the top & it then smashed into a bottom limb, breaking it off too.

The Parks Department has been notified.  We hope to see about arranging to have this tree fully trimmed of all it’s dead branches.

The MFPA March 2014 Newsletter is here!

Copy of Spring Newsletterclipart

Click here to read all about what’s happening in your Parks

Heart of the Park IV

2013 HOP Flyer

What’s the sag? Pizzo has the answers!

City of San Jose Park naming system - Copy

Folks- Back in 2010, when residents and park users questioned PG&E’s need to remove trees from the T.J. Martin and J. Fontana Parks, Martin-Fontana Parks Association formed. One of our early purchases was a laser-range finder equal to that used by the PG&E Contractor for measuring cable heights, tree heights and clearances. Obtaining this device was invaluable! We were able to confirm/question measurements used by PG&E to justify their safety concerns for this power corridor. I want to share with you a set of data, taken over the last month or so, showing the heights of those power cables, the ones that traverse the lengths of our two parks.

  (Click here for a chart of the data)

The data are the height, in feet, from the ground to the cable, at the lowest point of sag, midway between the towers. You may know that we have 6 spans (tower-to-tower) in our two parks. Using a laser range-finder we have measured the height from ground to the cable ONLY for the lowest of the three-stacked, vertical cables on each arm of the tower; and only to measure the height of one pair of cables (the southernmost ones) on each tower. There are three-towers at each span; and six transmission lines per arm, and two sets of three-high, vertically stacked lines.

Just so you know, the ground is uneven, with elevations and depressions existing throughout the park. But, we always made the measurements from the same point. The towers are of different heights also. That is why the height measurements must be made from the same location each time and this is reflected in the data.

The measurements do have error, even though this is a laser range-finder. I would guess that any one reading has an error of plus or minus 1-foot.  They were taken on different days, at different times; and the day-time temperatures varied accordingly. The temperature range was, maybe, from 77 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

So now, look at the data, for one span, for a given line, and for the various days, times and temperatures. How much variation do you see? Remember, the line sag will depend on how much power is being consumed and the ambient temperature. I would say that ambient temperature is really not a big factor! We will continue to monitor things during the winter and will have some lower temperature data come December/January.

These data seriously question the need to have trees no more than 17 foot at maturity. It would be interesting to calculate which has the greater likelihood: a 17 foot tree jumping up out of the ground and giving a high-five to the 230 KV transmission cable, or the cable sagging down to touch the top of the tree! MFPA is looking in to this calculation!

😉 Pat Pizzo   lightning_storm_2