After a coast redwood tree was transplanted at San Veron Park last summer and started dying shortly after, leading to concerns from nearby residents, the city of Mountain View has now removed the tree and replaced it with two smaller oak trees.
The redwood was transplanted last summer from a nearby location in San Veron Park to make way for necessary PG&E equipment.
“Unfortunately the day of the transplant was right around the time when we had a record heat wave,” resident Albert Jeans, who lives near San Veron Park, told the Voice in April. “The tree immediately got burned. There were a few semi-green branches, so we thought maybe it might be able to hang on, but over the course of the next several months it got browner and browner.”
The plan to transplant the tree, which the Mountain View City Council approved in early 2022, included language that if the transplant was unsuccessful, the city would replace it with two new trees.
Nearby resident Leslie Micetich said she walks her dog through the park almost every day, and noticed a spray painted “X” on the grass last week. A few days later, one of the new trees was planted there.
Chief Communications Officer Lenka Wright said the two new trees, both valley oaks, were planted on Friday, June 16, in separate locations within San Veron Park. The redwood was removed the same day, Wright told the Voice. The new trees are much smaller than the old redwood, each having come in a 24-inch sized box before being planted.
“Transplanting trees can lead to transplant shock due to root loss and changes in soil dynamics,” Wright told the Voice. “The 24-inch box tree size was selected because research has shown that smaller size trees typically establish faster and grow more quickly than larger transplanted trees.”
Wright added that the city’s arborist and parks staff worked together to identify the best locations in the park for the new trees to succeed and grow.
“Valley oaks are native to this region of California and well suited to Mountain View’s climate,” she said. “These factors will help preserve and protect the health and longevity of the new trees.”
One of the new trees was planted along the pathway near the basketball court, and the other was planted on the corner of Middlefield Road and San Veron Avenue, “relatively in the same vicinity as the transplanted tree,” Wright said.
To ensure that the new trees successfully take root, the city installed slow release watering bags that ensure water gets deep below the soil surface. The trees will also be inspected regularly to make sure they’re healthy.