Posts Tagged ‘Tree planting’

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.

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




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 | | 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.


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 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?

Vandals chop up 23 more trees again!

One of 23 trees cut at their base hangs from its support along Meridian Avenue in San Jose, Calif., Monday morning, July 18, 2016.  The Chinese Fringe Trees were apparently targeted late last week.  (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

One of 23 trees cut at their base hangs from its support along Meridian Avenue in San Jose, Calif., Monday morning, July 18, 2016. The Chinese Fringe Trees were apparently targeted late last week. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

In a Friday’s Mecury News article:

“In what Berry calls the worst vandalism she’s ever seen, someone has targeted the trees along Meridian Avenue and Dry Creek Road by sawing off their trunks in the middle of the night. Berry said it appears the vandals used an electric saw to chop up more than a quarter mile strip of trees.”

To read the complete article click here.

MFPA-PG&E Annual Park Review Completed


The annual vegetation review with PG&E was completed last month.  The good news was we had only two small Oak trees in PG&E’s right of way removed.  A Australian Tea Leaf tree and a Toyon tree were planted as replacements.

Ten small volunteer trees (trees that nature planted) were removed.  Five were encroaching into some of the PG&E towers, two were dead, and three were in PG&E’s right of way.  PG&E requires the tower concrete supports be free of vegetation so they can be periodically inspected.

As a good will gesture, PG&E provided these 3 additional trees and included the cost of watering them for 3 years.

These were planted in the western end of TJ Martin Park.

Here are maps showing the tree locations:

TJ Martin map with photos

Fontana West map with photos

Our thanks to the Martin-Fontana Parks Association’s Negotiation Team of Dick Stevens, Mike Kalashian, Vince Piazzisi, Sunny Wagstaff, and Rich Zahner.

Seventeen Trees Planted in our Parks

On Sat. June 18th., a crew from Our City Forest, along with volunteers, planted a total of 17 trees at TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks.  OCF worked with the City’s Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services Department to determine the planting locations.  All trees planted were on  PG&E’s approved tree list for trees under power lines. Twelve trees were planted in east TJ Martin Park near Meridian Ave.
Two trees were planted along the curb of Oakglen Way in Jeffrey Fontana Park,
two were planted along the curb south of the dog parks, and
one was planted near the Fontana statue.
Funds were provided by a grant OCF had for tree planting and watering.  Thanks so much for all the hard work provided by the volunteers.  This will help to replace some of the many dead trees felled by the drought.

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!