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



13 thoughts on “With Assist From Local Contractors, Bernal Trees Terrorize Neighborhood Cars

  1. The city provides poor, if any oversight, of what is done on our streets– take a look around! Once there’s a paid permit, anything goes.
    How about other photos of the ridiculous, or frustrating situations on our streets, created in the name of improvement or maintenance?
    I’ll snap the two short Dogpatch streets where 3 out of 4 curbsides are blocked off for permitted work.
    And, I’m sure we don’t have to leave our neighborhood to find them!

  2. I’ve participated in some FUF (Friends of the Urban Forest) activities and have been to many of their meetings. A lot of these dangerous trees were planted during the go-go 1970s when people wanted to be eco-friendly and celebrate Earth Day and whatnot. Unfortunately they didn’t seem to bring arborists into the fold and lots of inappropriate trees were planted. This has resulted in cracked sidewalks, top-heavy trees that fall down, and trees that create lots of nuisance. The problem isn’t trees, but inappropriate trees. Thankfully, FUF has arborists onboard, so they’re not making the same mistakes anymore.

    HOWEVER, because so many people bitch a streak about tree removal, there is an arduous process that must be dealt with in order to remove trees, even dangerous ones. This includes posting notices where anybody, informed, ill-informed, or uninformed can protest tree removal. So, often these removals are delayed or abandoned altogether.

    The fact is that there are LOTS of different kinds of trees, and many are simply inappropriate for urban sidewalks. Here is FUF’s urban tree guide, which shows what is appropriate to plant given the desired height, width, water needs, etc. http://www.fuf.net/resources-reference/urban-tree-species-directory/

  3. Gah, whiner. Possibly a contractor brought in by a neighbor who had to prune once the tree was transferred to their care by DPW. Or hired by DPW? I doubt that as few tree companies are on the approved vendor list for the city.

    Instead of complaining, how about giving props to anyone in this town trying to take care of our aging trees/street trees? That’s a big, old ficus. They require pruning for health and shape (think sidewalk clearance). I appreciate whoever hired that contractor and since those workers are doing one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, I also appreciate their work.

  4. Come on now. It’s called a “tarp” and common courtesy as well as professionalism dictate that one covers nearby vehicles when doing tree work, painting, etc in the area.

  5. When I first read headline, I thought you were referring to the tree at the southwest corner of Precita and Alabama. Has anyone ever parked under that thing?! It is the only female fruiting Ginkgo tree I have ever encountered- I parked under it for 2 hours, came back and it was as if something had thrown up all over the car. The car stank of sour baby poop for days. Bit of a tangent- but TREES! you can never be too careful of them…

    • Ah the ginkgo tree. My high school was “gifted” one by somebody. It rewarded us with stinky “poo-berries” dropped into the parking lot until a classmate cut it down under the cover of an orange vest and cones in broad daylight. Nobody would park under it.

      • Also, a tarp is to be expected when trimming trees. Would they have done the same with a convertible parked there?

    • I had four ginkgo trees planted by FUF next to my house in 1999. One is fruiting female. I pick up the fruit daily during fall. It’s too big and healthy to remove, plus I don’t want to pay the permit costs of something that shouldn’t be my fault. (FUF should only distribute male trees…)

  6. Ha! I am a local arborist who always protects cars with tarps, or better yet make sure there are no cars below! Call me next time for a job done rightly.
    Elliot 415-594-9090, with 30 years of tree pruning experience in our fair city.

Comments are closed.