Jefferson Street Trees: Update

A few days ago, we posted about the Jefferson Street trees, and how 21 of the 25 trees would be saved. We now have the actual revised plan for the tree-felling there, and it’s not as good as we thought: 10 trees are actually going to be chopped down.


Seven of the trees on Jefferson are London Plane Trees (sycamores, platanus acerifolia). They’re the ones in front of the mellow brick structure of the Hotel Argonaut and give this part of the street much of its grace and beauty.

They’re also the trees that are the host tree for the  Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. According to lepidopterist Liam O’Brien who testified at the hearing on August 27, these will likely be full of overwintering pupae ready to hatch into pretty butterflies in the spring.

Four of the seven trees are slated to be chopped down, pupae and all.  Only one is to be replaced. In the picture below, all the trees sprayed yellow will be felled.

A pittosporum tree in the same line  – between the two buildings in the picture above – would be felled without replacement.  Out of the first ten trees you encounter when you walk from Hyde Street onto Jefferson, only five would be left. In addition, a ficus tree at the end of the block would be cut down, but replaced with a sapling.

We grabbed a map from Google maps and marked the trees to be felled. The red splotches show trees that won’t be replaced. The yellow splotches show the ones that will be replaced. The green trees are the ones preserved in the revised plan.

On the second block (along Jefferson from Leavenworth to Jones), the trees are all tristanias (tristania conferta). Four trees would be felled and new saplings would be planted in their place.

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5 Responses to Jefferson Street Trees: Update

  1. LC says:

    so they just lied? feeling very disgusted right now. what can we do now?

  2. Dave says:

    Please post the name of city’s project manager, direct line and email.

    Webmaster: The project manager seems to be:

  3. John Dennis called today & and emailed yesterday stating this was very same map he testified to at the hearing and the same one we got – I countered no John “we got no maps” and “our coalition and public remembers distinctly remember only 4 trees agreed to be felled”. Dennis suggested we refer to transcripts and records from hearing. I asked him how long before trees felled he said “4 month window on average after hearing”. I said “we insist on being there to oversee fell count agreed upon and to recycle trees properly to wooden boat wrights Historic Ships Aquatic Park national Park Service Dolphin and South End club, and to have our Arborist and lepidoptrist on site to oversee entire fell work:. -I also requested ” any London Plane tree felling occur after February March when the Butterfly larvae can hatch: – Dennis said John Thomas Head Planner would have to decide that. I will email John Thomas for an appointment. John Dennis is landscape designer for DPW- I thanked him for the good work City County SF and DPW together with our coalition had accomplished in short time to ensure San Francisco and Fisherman’s Wharf plans for a green future. We will physically get transcripts tomorrow ourselves from DPW hearing we all attended re: saving 25 Jefferson street trees.
    Thank you everyone we are almost at the goal line- DPW appears to be making efforts to accommodate us. We must make our ” WISH LIST” …..let me know what your wishes ? mine are listed above in narrative. Thanks everyone, we have had a good victory and just efforts so far After the transcripts are listened to we will know how badly those of us at hearing need new glasses and hearing aids… DPW or our coalition..Thanks again everyone we ARE winning…step by step ..inches at a time …to remind San Francisco to plan with green goals projects step by step one at a time with our reminding them and working TOGETHER…saving the trees habitats and native species on Jefferson Street …we are almost there….!!

  4. Dolan Eargle says:

    Looks like we need a police number to call when the “plans” put up by the City are obviously slanted and illegal. Don’t we have a lawyer yet to stop this plunder??

    -dolan eargle

    Webmaster: We hope it hasn’t come to that! We think the City will listen if enough people speak up. In this case, they did; we have the final order and 15 of the 25 trees will be untouched; 6 will be removed and new trees planted in the same place; and only 4 trees removed without being replaced.

  5. Pingback: Jefferson Street Trees: The Decision « San Francisco Forest Alliance

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