“Hazardous Tree Work” – Cutting Down Trees on Mount Sutro This Winter

Well, the nesting season is over – and the cutting is starting.

On Nov 9, 2017  we received a notice from UCSF that they are starting “hazardous tree work” on Monday November 13. 2017.  They plan on cutting down 50 trees and pruning about 200.  Since “hazard” is a popular excuse when people want to cut down trees, we asked for documentation that the trees are actually hazardous.

We won’t get it before work starts – Friday Nov 10, 2017 UCSF was closed for Veteran’s Day, then it’s the weekend, and then work starts Monday Nov 13. However, it is going to continue intermittently through January 2018, so we will update you when we know more. The UCSF notice is below:

UCSF’s NOTICE – NOV 9, 2017

Here’s the notice:


UCSF Hazardous Tree Work

Dear Neighbors:
UCSF is scheduling hazardous tree trimming and removal starting Monday, November 13. The work will occur along the Historic, Northridge, Clarendon, Fairy Gate, and potentially East Ridge trails. We estimate that approximately 50 trees will be removed, and 200 trees will be pruned.

The work is expected to occur intermittently through January, 2018. The work will be done using chainsaws and hand tools, which will generate noise in the area. UCSF’s good neighbor commitment limits noisy work on weekdays to between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. During the work, the affected trails will be closed, and visitors will be redirected. Signs will indicate where trail closures will occur.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Lily Wong at (415) 476-8318 or email at Lily.Wong3@ucsf.edu.


We are pleased that they are actually pruning trees instead of cutting them all down. But we suspect that the tree-cutting activity planned by UCSF is more aggressive than safety demands. They have not been good at identifying hazardous trees. A recent tree-fall in the Aldea campus was from a tree that was considered safe, according to Julie Sutton, (UCSF’s arborist managing this forest). Meanwhile, over a thousand trees have been cut down over the last few years.

UCSF needs to be more aware of the risks of thinning the forest and destroying its capacity to hold moisture. This impacts many safety issues, including slope stabilization, forest health, and windthrow.

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