The Forest on Albany Hill

One of the blogs we follow, Conservation Sense and Nonsense, is trying to prevent the destruction of the eucalyptus forest on Albany Hill. This stand of trees sequesters carbon, cleans the air near a heavily trafficked road – and provides a wintering ground for Monarch butterflies.

Conservation Sense and Nonsense has published a three-part response, in the form of a letter to the relevant authority, The Albany City Council.

The first segment explains why it is not necessary to destroy the forest.  The second segment will explain the consequences of destroying the forest.  The final segment will explain why it is unlikely that the forest can be replaced by native trees.”


Though the eucalyptus trees on Albany Hill are showing signs of drought stress, so are *all* trees in the area. The eucalyptus are most likely to recover, being much more drought-adapted.

Read the detailed article:

Epicormic growth is a eucalyptus defense mechanism allowing the tree to recover from drought


The second article spells out the consequences:

“The premature destruction of the eucalyptus forest will have many negative consequences:

  • The loss of significant amounts of fog drip from the tall trees. [Note This reduces the amount of moisture in the area, affecting vegetation and fire risk]
  • The creation of tons of wood debris that will contribute to fire hazards
  • The regrowth of the trees into unstable multi-stemmed trees with lower fire ladders
  • The loss of habitat for overwintering monarch butterflies” [Note: Monarchs strongly prefer eucalyptus for winter roosts.]

Monarch butterflies roosting on Albany Hill eucalyptus. Photo: Conservation Sense and Nonsense

Read the detailed article:


The Albany City Council hopes to replace the eucalyptus with “native” trees. The third article explains why this is not going to happen, particularly since there are no plans to irrigate the newly-planted area.

“Somehow, this diverse, drought-tolerant, fire-resilient, tall, native (with droughty eucalyptus species?) forest is expected to survive without irrigation:  “If drought-tolerant tree species are planted as seedlings, in the fall with sufficient planting site preparation and adequate rain fall, minimal if any irrigation will be required.” (5)  When predicting the fate of the existing eucalyptus forest, the plans assume that the drought will continue.  When predicting the fate of a replacement forest, the plans assume that the drought will end.”

It goes on to say: “Historically, areas on Albany Hill that are now forested with eucalyptus were treeless because native trees are not adapted to the challenging climate conditions.  If the eucalyptus forest on Albany Hill is destroyed, Albany Hill is likely to be treeless again.”

The Monarch butterflies will be out of luck. So will native vegetation that depends on the wind protection and moisture the forest provides. So will be all tree-lovers that have admired and enjoyed this little urban forest.

Read the details:

If this account moves you to help, please write to:
Albany City Council, 1000 San Pablo Ave,  Albany, CA 94707

Albany Hill. By Clarkiarubicunda – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 – Wikimedia

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