The city of Pleasanton on Tuesday started the removal of a eucalyptus in Lions Wayside Park that had become infected with a fungus, a project opposed by a group of residents who opposed cutting down the historic tree.
Several residents came out for a small protest on Tuesday, telling city officials that they would prefer the tree be preserved through diligent pruning or a reduction in size, however city officials were adamant that the tree was beyond saving and must be taken down in the interest of public safety.
"With this particular fungus, it is my understanding that once the tree is infected with it, it can't be saved," city spokesperson Cindy Chin told the Weekly on Monday. "Because of the location of the park and the size, it really creates a safety risk for the community and that's why we are having it removed."
Work on the tree began early Tuesday morning, with total removal estimated to be completed by Friday. A standing landmark that very nearly predates the city -- Pleasanton was officially incorporated in 1894 -- the tree stands well over 100 feet tall and is estimated to be more than 125 years old.
While the city maintains that the tree must come down, as a way to assuage residents distressed by the tree's removal a portion of the tree will be preserved at Alviso Adobe, according to Chin for "as long as the piece will last."
Located at 3465 Old Foothill Road in Pleasanton's western half, Alviso Adobe Community Park is a historical site that holds numerous exhibits telling the history of Pleasanton and the Amador Valley. Alviso Adobe has exhibits depicting life of the region's early Native American inhabitant, to the early days of the Spanish Ranchos and the mid-20th century dairy farmers that caller the area home.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, city officials are unsure of when the piece of the tree will be placed at the historic park.
Chin also mentioned that currently there are no plans to replace the tree with a new one.