This is a showcase of real projects done in Woodside Hills as part of the Firewise USA Site program.
The improvements are easy to see. And contrary to common concerns, the properties do not look denuded. They look great!
You can click on most images to see a larger version.
210 Crest Rd, August 2019
This property was inspected by the fire department, and the major risks were identified. The big problems were a number of eucalyptus trees, a tall palm tree, and about 1000 square feet of decades-old juniper growing close under pine trees. The eucalyptus and palm were removed. Almost all of the juniper was removed, and the pine trees were limbed up. The area where the junipers were has been mulched with chipped eucalyptus trees, so there was no cost for mulch. And chipped wood is a relatively difficult covering to ignite. The palm tree had to be hauled away, because palm trees do not chip well.
The following are before and after photos of the various improvements.
This large eucalyptus has a little one to the right. They were both removed. This one was hard to say good bye to. To its left are two more that will be removed next year. When they bloom, one is red, one is orange, and one is pink. They were beautiful. But they were too dangerous to keep. So goodbye. In the after photo, you will notice that about 4 feet of trunk was left. The owner is going to turn this into an art piece.
This eucalyptus was not only a fire hazard, it also overhung two bedrooms. Eucalyptus is notorious for splitting off large branches. This trunk will also be art soon.
This palm has been a pain for years. It drops heavy fronds from time to time, requires regular trimming, and doesn't do much for the yard. When the owner watched a video of a palm tree burning, its fate was sealed. Goodbye palm.
You can see the video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vksMkoKMSHA
And finally, the junipers. These will not be missed. Nor will the 9 rat nests that were found in it be missed. The workers who removed it had to wear special protective gear to keep from being infested with ticks and lice. Goodbye junipers. And wow, it looks so much better! Notice the branches that have been removed at the bottom too.
This was a very successful project. Of course, it costs a lot to take out a big tree. The total for the trees was $15,000. The junipers cost another $1,600. The owner considers it money well spent, inexpensive insurance. More eucalyptus will be taken out next year. The Town of Woodside's Defensible Space Matching Fund was very helpful, contributing $3,000 to the project. This one project satisfies our spending requirements for the Firewise USA Site program!