• PG City tree ordinance review continues

    By Cameron Douglas  and Bruce Cowan

    Members of the city’s Beautification and Natural Resources Committee and the general public are waiting for a single, definitive version of Pacific Grove’s controversial tree replacement ordinance. Mayor Cort asked the committee to review the ordinance after recent brou-ha’s regarding the law’s specific provisions and penalties for non-compliance.The city’s tree law states, “to the extent feasible, every tree which is removed shall be replaced on site by a minimum of two trees, of a comparable use and size as determined by the city forester.” This is to be done at the property owner’s expense within 30 days after a tree removal permit is issued.
    Some argue that replacing one tree with two is excessive, especially in the case of Monterey pines. According to landscape professional Bruce Cowan, those trees are “far from endangered.” The following is from a recent article by Mr. Cowan:
    “Monterey pine is one of the world’s most widely planted timber trees because it is so fast growing. Huge plantations occur in New Zealand, where it is harvested for lumber every 25 years and is second only to sheep in exports. Australia and Chile also grow large numbers of the pines, and many are found in other warm temperate climates.
    “While some of our pine forests are declining from old age, pitch canker, natural succession by oaks and human development, the overall Monterey Peninsula pine forest is actually expanding.  Early drawings of Monterey depict mostly grassy hills used for grazing, with only scattered patches of pines.  Southern Carmel was treeless sand dunes during Robinson Jeffers’s time.  The forest has since expanded south into Carmel Highlands.  Monterey pines are rapidly replacing open grasslands in the Highway 68 corridor near the Monterey airport, and at Point Lobos. Monterey pines are likely to be with us for many years to come.”
    There are currently 120 amendments to the original Pacific Grove tree ordinance. The committee will take up the matter again later this month.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on May 7, 2009

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News, Green, Cameron Douglas

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