Posts Tagged ‘Trees’

Thanks to MFPA’s Watering Team Members

Watering Team image

Thanks so much for all those long hours spent in watering trees when you could have been doing something else.  If it wasn’t for each one of you, taking the time, all those newly planted trees wouldn’t survive.  Your community appreciates you.

Trees Trimmed

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Here are pictures of some of the trees trimmed at Oakglen Way from Meridian to Burchell. Thirty eight trees were trimmed. The trimming was done for health, safety and appearance.  In addition,  a lot of the trees will now be safer from PG&E as their clearances from the high voltage lines were substantially increased.
The City paid for the work and thanks to Peggy Rudd of Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services (PRNS) who was instrumental in making this happen.

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


Our City Forest reminds us that hot weather means thirsty trees!

The next week is supposed to be a scorcher, so be sure to keep hydrated and don’t forget about your trees too!  In the summer, the need for water increases, so be sure sure and check the soil at the base of the tree to make sure it has enough moisture.  This is especially important for trees under three years old.

For those looking to help water more than just your own trees, Our City Forest (OCF) is looking for watering volunteers during these hot summer months!  Get outside, have some fun in the sun, and make sure that San Jose’s trees get plenty to drink this summer!

For more information on watering, please call Julian at 408-998-7337 x 118, or email him at

We are not the greenest but we are number two

Lets keep planting those trees!

Winter Storms take down two trees & damage another

Mother Nature was kind of nasty to us last month.  Two Plum trees were toppled and the big Willow tree at the east end of Jeffrey Fontana Park was severely damaged.

A huge branch was broken off.

A huge branch was broken off.

May 2012 Newsletter from Councilmember Nancy Pyle

MFPA President Linda Wilson and Councilmember Nancy Pyle

Dear Community Member,
On Arbor Day, April 27th, I had the pleasure to participate in the
dedication of a large grove of magnificent oak trees in Jeffrey Fontana
Park. These trees were designated to be Heritage Oaks by the City of
San Jose in August 2011 and after much effort by the Martin Fontana
Parks Association and the TJ Martin Neighborhood Association the
Heritage Grove was dedicated to the community.

Read the rest of what Nancy Pyle, District 10 Councilmember had to say here.

103-year-old man to be buried in coffin made from tree he fought for decades to protect

Frank Knight was a professional logger but earned his true legacy spending decades protecting New England’s tallest elm tree. But as all things must, the 217-year-old tree nicknamed “Herbie” eventually succumbed to Dutch elm disease. And over the weekend, 103-year-old Knight died as well. But as a final tribute to this unique relationship between man […]

Read the full story

Braving the Monsoon!

March 31 Tree Planting at TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks

Our City Forest volunteers and Tree Amigos joined with volunteers from MFPA last Saturday, digging 16 holes with pick and shovel, and planting 16 young trees.

The Daisy Brownie troop from Los Alamitos, their parents, and siblings also had their own little project.  With supervision from a trusty OCF Tree Amigo, they dug their hole, and planted what will someday become a majestic Coast Live Oak.  To celebrate the Girl Scouts 100th birthday this year, they adopted the tree and will participate in its care.

We want to thank Theresa Wellman, Johnny Khamis, Sunny and Pat Wagstaff, Larry Sasscer, Pat Pizzo, Vince Piazzisi, Dave Poeschel, Bob and Marge Heldt (our photographer), Mike Kalashian, Gail Hospidor, and Gary Wilson for braving the storm. We really appreciate your support.

The Daisy Brownie troop from Los Alamitos

These three little elves popped up in the woods to help us

MFPA has contracted with Our City Forest to plant and water these trees for a period of three years, until they have become established enough to survive on their own.

A big” THANK YOU” to all our volunteers who braved pouring rain, cold temperatures, and a monsoon-like 35 mile an hour wind to finish this project within two hours!

Digging in the rain

NEXT TREE PLANTING:  Saturday, April 21 @ 9 am – meet in Jeffrey Fontana Park at the corner of Meridian and Oakglen Way.

Thanks to Margie Heldt for the great photos.

Results of the annual MFPA General Membership meeting

All present & accounted for, the Board. From left to right: Dick Stevens, Mike Kalashian, Bob Heldt, Pat Wagstaff, Larry Sasscer, Linda Wilson, Vince Piazzisi, and Pier Maggiani

The minutes of the Jan. 21, 2012 General Membership meeting are now available.

The following subjects are covered:

  • 2011 Year End Financial Report
  • 2012 Negotiations Update with PG&E
  • 2011 Accomplishments
  • 2012 Project plans
  • Future park enhancement ideas from public input
  • 2012-13 Board Elections
Stay informed about your Association. The Martin-Fontana Parks Association Board of Directors

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