Supernatural Forces Suspected In Odd Case of Vanishing Fig Tree


Neighbor Beth is baffled by the sudden disappearance of a fig tree from her enclosed back yard on Gates Street:

We are trying to make sense of the mystery of the missing fig tree.

We planted this fig sapling a few years ago. After losing all of the leaves, it remained a bare stalk for for a year (or two?). When I finally decided I may as well get rid of it, I climbed the slope to find – lo, and behold – it had 2 grown leaves. Miraculous! Since then, it gained about 1 leaf per year and at last count had about 6.

Last week, while Margot Mouse and I were making DIY garden gnomes, we noticed that the fig tree was COMPLETELY GONE. Nothing left but the tag. The rocks around the base were neatly moved aside.

There are some potential witnesses who guard the yard but they won’t talk, not even under the influence of catnip. I thought maybe a kid had broken it and hid the evidence but there’s no trace, nowhere. Animals? We have no deer, goats, or cows. Raccoons starting a garden? Raptured? We remain mystified.

PHOTO: Neighbor Beth

Tuesday: Drink Wine, Eat Cheese, Plant a Tree In Front of Your Glamorous Bernal Heights Home



Psst. Hey! Want to get a tree in front of your house? Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) has scheduled one of their periodic Bernal Heights tree plantings for September, but the time to sign up to get a tree is now. FUF coordinator Kyle Lemle tells Bernalwood:

We at Friends of the Urban Forest are organizing a tree planting in the Bernal Heights on September 26th.

The deadline to apply for this planting is August 12th. The plantings are a fantastic way to build community, neighbors come and help each other plant their trees, and then join together for a community potluck at the end.

We are hosting a happy hour at Bernal resident John Monson’s house at 185 Lundys Lane, on Tuesday, July 21st. We will serve wine and cheese, answer any tree-related questions, and discuss ideas on how to plant more trees in Bernal Heights.

I will answer tree related questions and make sure we are set for a big neighborhood planting in Bernal Heights! We will have some wine and cheese and brainstorm outreach ideas to get even more trees planted in the neighborhood.

Can you make it?

Tree Planting “Happy Hour” for Bernal Heights
Where: The home of Neighbor John, 185 Lundys Lane (@Virginia), SF
Date: Tuesday, July 21st
Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm

PHOTO: Courtesy of Friends of the Urban Forest

Help a Bernal Neighbor Working to Beautify Part of Mission Street


One of the most conspicuous things you notice when you look at older (pre-1970) photos of San Francisco is that there were far fewer trees in our open spaces and along our streets. The city looks somewhat more harsh, and vastly more naked. Tree-planting has done a lot to make our glamorous urban lifestyles more lovely, but some parts of Bernal Heights have not yet received an arboreal upgrade.

Neighbor Erik Williams is leading the charge to get some trees planted along the College Hill stretch of Mission Street, and he could use your help. Neighbor Erik writes:

I live on Mission Street in Bernal Heights, very close to St Mary’s Pub.

I’m currently working with the SF Department of Public Works to have trees planted along Mission between Crescent and Park streets. I feel this would improve the look of the neighborhood. The city is supportive, and we have a good advocate within the department. However, we need other residents to contact the DPW to show support in order to get the plantings funded.

Mission Street is a vital corridor for Bernal Heights, and we have an opportunity to convince the city to invest in making Mission Street more beautiful. DPW will evaluate the corridor for tree planting, provided those of us in the neighborhood write in to show our support.

Although much of Mission Street is tree-lined as it runs through Bernal Heights, there are no trees along the 3800 block, from Crescent Ave to Park St. This area is the top of College Hill, where the Bernal subregions of Holly Park, St Mary’s Park, and College Hill border each other. This area includes many local business such as St Mary’s Pub, Giovanni’s Pizza Bistro, and Balompie Café.

We want to make this a better neighborhood for families and children, and we need your support. Please write in support of this tree planting for the 3800 block of Mission St by emailing the SF department of Public works at:

I’ve created some images to show how the plantings could look. As I’m sure Bernalwood readers will agree, the addition of the trees would add appeal and vibrancy to the neighborhood.

Please take a few minutes to write in and support the tree planting. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

PHOTOS: via Neighbor Erik

Neighbor Stumped by Mysterious Trunk of Sidewalk Tree


Over the break, Neighbor Matthew wondered about the odd tree in front his house on Wool Street:

What’s the deal with the strange Bernal trees that are stumpy on the bottom and narrower on top? See attached photos. I have noticed these while running all over the ‘Wood Hood. This photo is from in front of my house on Wool Street. I’m stumped (wakka wakka wakka) as to whether these trees grow this way naturally, whether they had some sort of disease, or whether a smaller tree was somehow transplanted into a previously larger tree.

Any insight from Bernal’s many armchair arborists?

PHOTO: Neighbor Matthew

With Assist From Local Contractors, Bernal Trees Terrorize Neighborhood Cars



With help from a team of indifferent landscaping contractors and Sir Issac Newton’s laws of gravitation, there was an awkward interaction on Monday between a few oversize Bernal trees and a few undersize Bernal cars.

Neighbor Janna reports:

Tree cutting (contractors? from city?) on Cortland with no protection to cars below. Is that legal? Not my car, but a neighbors car.


As a matter of policy, Bernalwood celebrates the mutually prosperous relationship that has long existed between Bernal trees and our mechanized vehicles. We would hate to see this relationship grow strained for want of a simple tarp. Thus, looking ahead, we trust that these sorts of interactions can be managed more elegantly.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Janna



Neighbor Chuck Finds New “Everyday Sights in Bernal Heights”





Neighbor Chuck got a job, which has been great for his finances but bad for fans of his blog. Luckily for those patient fans, Neighbor Chuck found some time recently to go for one of his horticultural walks around Bernal Heights, and the result is a new installment in his occasional series of  posts on “Everyday Sights in Bernal Heights”:

I don’t get to do this much anymore — walk around my neighborhood. Because I work all the time. Well, it’s nice to be wanted (for work). Up to a point. And then, blech.

This edition is huge and beautiful and full of gorgeous Bernal perspectives, so put on your virtual walking shoes and let Neighbor Chuck show you around.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Chuck/My Back 40 (Feet)

Sign Up Now to Get a Sidewalk Tree In Front of Your Bernal Home



Neighbor Phil Pierce live on Tompkins Street. By day he works as the community outreach coordinator for Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF), the greentastic group that organizes sidewalk greenery plantings here in the City.

Neighbor Phil is spreading the word that Friends of the Urban Forest is planning a tree-planting in Bernal Heights, so if you want one in front of your house, you should sign up now:

FUF has green ($$) to make your block green!

Do you want to get a tree in front of your property?
We are coming to the Bernal Heights, and now is your chance to be a part of it!

Friends of the Urban Forest has funding to subsidize 75% of the costs to plant trees, with a Community Planting Day planned for June 14, 2014.

You only need to pay $135 and choose what species you want — then FUF will handle all of the prep work, remove the cement, provide the tree itself, and do three scheduled tree care visits over the first three years of the tree’s life to help it thrive!

For more information, visit the Bernal Heights page.
Contact, (415) 268-0772

Deadline for forms is 4/30

PHOTOS: Friends of the Urban Forest