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Trees at Alice Keck
updated: Jun 19, 2014, 10:51 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Will the City still water the specimen trees at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens? They look to be in distress. I understand letting the ground cover and lawns go, as long as it doesn't affect the wildlife.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 529180 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-19 11:56 AM

I have also noticed the specimen trees in the city parks look really stressed. I understand not watering the lawns, but the trees are pretty much irreplaceable. I am surprised they are letting them go. The olives in front of the Presidio look terrible. I have been watering one of the little trees in the dried out lawn of one of the parks. It's really sad.


 COMMENT 529196 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-19 12:51 PM

Call the City and ask them.


 COMMENT 529231 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-19 03:17 PM

It is amazing how the city will let many of these valuable trees die, and still allow homeowners to keep watering their lawns. Replacing the trees will ultimately cost big dollars while homeowners replacing lawns will cost a few boxes of grass seed. Mixed priorities.


 COMMENT 529232P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-19 03:19 PM

Okay. I called and spoke with our City Arborist, Tim Downey. He informed me that the City has no plans to reduce the watering of trees in Alice Keck Park Park. The watering of the turf has been reduced by about 20%, he said.

What a nice guy, by the way.


 COMMENT 529247 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-19 04:12 PM

Well in that case they better start watering them fast before they die. Someone is not doing their job.


 COMMENT 529250P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-19 04:24 PM

There are so many trees around town that look like they are parched, parched, parched. I hope the El Nino predicted for this fall will give us a good soaking and that the trees can survive long enough to benefit.


 COMMENT 529263P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-19 04:55 PM

I'd think the goal is to let the trees limp into the rainy season, minimizing water usage....


 COMMENT 529286 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-19 06:24 PM

I watched the landscape guys specifically water certain trees at Alice Keck Park. They said the direct watering gets deep into the roots, rather than using a sprinkler that wastes water in areas that have no plants.

Have you ever seen a large tree die of drought? I haven't. If large trees died due to droughts, we wouldn't have trees on our streets, every 10 years. I would trust the city arborist. He knows his biz. If he says they are watering the trees, They are.


 COMMENT 529293P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-19 08:18 PM

It's ok for people to be proactive and water the tree..... I've watered plants that are in distress and we both survived. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Take a few gallon jugs of water and water the tree. What's the big deal?? Just do it....


 COMMENT 529303P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-20 12:20 AM


As a homeowner and backyard grower of various types of non-deciduous and deciduous trees, mostly fruit trees, I can tell you that "a few gallon jugs of water" may do more harm than good. If you read the following info on trees and drought, you will learn that if you don't water your trees deeply enough, you are encouraging shallow rooting. Not watering deeply enough can lead to "even more drought damage."

If you want to water any trees, the rule of thumb (again--see below reference) is about 10 gallons of water per inch of tree trunk diameter.

One gallon of water weighs nearly 9 lbs, by the way.

Source: www.colostate.edu (Colorado University site)

"How much water your tree should receive depends upon the tree size. A general rule of thumb is to use approximately 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter for each watering. Measure trunk diameter at knee height. General formula: Tree Diameter x 5 minutes = Total Watering Time."


"Where to water your tree:

Deep watering to a depth of 12” inches below the soil surface is recommended.

Saturate the soil around the tree within the “dripline” (the outer edges of the tree’s branches) to disperse water down toward the roots.

For evergreens, water 3’-5’ beyond the dripline on all sides of the tree.

The objective is to water slowly, dispersing the flow of water to get the water deep down to the trees roots. Watering for short periods of time only encourages shallow rooting which can lead to more drought damage.

Don’t d... [ more ]


 COMMENT 529311 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-20 07:10 AM

Same question about the redwoods at La Cumbre Jr High next to the fire station. I wonder if the firefighters could direct a hose in their direction next time they are washing their truck? They would really appreciate it, I bet.


 COMMENT 529317 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-20 07:50 AM

Large trees don't die of drought in the way we'd expect--they don't brown up in a season and die. The drought stresses them and they're unable to fight off attacks by microorganisms/insects. It may take seasons, but the tree ends up just as dead.


 COMMENT 529330P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-20 08:27 AM

Are the firefighters really washing the fire trucks? I hope this claim is just a rhetorical device.


 COMMENT 529349 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-20 09:43 AM

330P, I haven't seen them washing their firetruck, but it looks pretty shiny so I assume they are. And those things are too big to take to a car wash using recycled water, plus they don't have enough quarters anyway. They probably wash them less often now.

Does the city have the data to show that they are reducing their usage by 25% also? I know the SB County dog shelter was paying $30,000/yr for water which is a lot of water. They were turning on the valves to flush the floor drains and leaving them on- you could hear the water in the street drain and it sounded like Niagara. Otherwise their water usage is pretty minimal.


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