A Unique Forest

We’ve been convinced about the health and beauty of this amazing forest, but we’re not arborists. So we asked one to look at the forest for us. The letter below is from ISA-certified arborist, Jocelyn Cohen, who is a member of San Francisco’s Urban Forest Council; and Alma Hecht of Second Nature Design, also an arborist and landscape designer. (Hecht supports native plants, and Second Nature’s design philosophy includes restoration where appropriate.)

“Mt Sutro Forest represents a unique ecotype,” the letter starts, “perhaps the only one of its classification in the world. The 120 year-old hand-planted forest of now-naturalized eucalyptus trees and diverse understory species rising up on 80 acres of  San Francisco mountainside has developed many of the characteristics of a cloud forest at sea level.”

The letter also noted the factors confirming the forest’s health:

  • Lack of erosion
  • An average size range [of the trees] from small to monumental
  • Normal amounts of dead or fallen trees
  • Presence of diverse wildlife
  • Thick layers of undisturbed duff  feeding and sheltering critical mats of roots and beneficial mycorrhizal fungi

It also warns that disturbance from bicycles, hikers and heavy equipment could cause disruption of water flow patterns, and soil compaction. [At the UCSF community meetings, UCSF’s consulting forester Ray Moritz spoke of a “brontosaurus” – something like the machine below…]

Coming soon to Sutro Forest?

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