information regarding possible removal of
28 redwood trees from SJ City College
From: SJCC President's Office
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2010 4:12 PM
To: .DL SJCC-All San Jose City College
Subject: Public Mtg on Tree Removal Project
Dear College Community:
Several e-mails have been sent to Chancellor Rita Cepeda regarding the tree removal project on the San Jose City College campus.
I have scheduled an open public meeting with Vice Chancellor Jeanine Hawk to inform us of the specifics of that project which will get under way next week. The meeting will be held in B-102 at 9:00 a.m. this Monday, August 2, 2010.
I encourage all who are concerned to attend the meeting.
From: Divinia, Michael
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2010 8:25 AM
To: Cepeda, Rita
Cc: .DL SJCC-All San Jose City College; Dias, Robert; Nasol, Rudy; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Proposed Removal of Coast Redwood Trees Growing Near the Business Building at San Jose City College
Dear Chancellor Cepeda,
My name is Michael Divinia, and I serve as a faculty member in the Mathematics Department at San Jose City College.
Welcome to the San Jose/Evergreen Community College District. I hope that your service here as Chancellor will be beneficial to all whom you serve in this District.
The proposal to remove over twenty-five Coast Redwood trees that are growing near the Business Building is disturbing to me. I recommend that this proposal be put on hold so that members of the San Jose City College community can take a second look at this proposal, and so that other arborist's opinions can be considered. I recommend that the proposal to remove a number of Japanese Maple trees on the San Jose City College campus also be put on hold. It has been proposed to remove these Japanese Maple trees to prepare the footprint for the new Multidisciplinary/Arts Building; however, groundbreaking for this building is one to two years in the future. In the meantime, these trees can be maintained on campus so that we can continue to appreciate their beauty and to enjoy the shade that they provide.
Here are some facts to consider:
1. The proposal to remove over twenty-five Coast Redwood trees growing near the Business Building was approved by the Facilities Committee late in the recent spring semester, with little discussion of this proposal. The rest of the campus community was mostly unaware of this proposal. The Academic Senate was not aware of this proposal.
2. A report by a structural engineer regarding the trees growing near the Business Building was submitted. This report was based on a visual inspection only and did not mention any actual evidence of structural damage to the Business Building that has been caused by the redwood trees. The foundation of the Business Building was not examined for this report; the type of foundation of the Business Building was not mentioned in this report. Basically this report stated that the redwood trees that are growing near to the Business Building may harm the foundation of this building.
3. According to another arborist whom I consulted, it is very unlikely that the roots of the redwood trees have gone under the foundation of the Business Building. The ground under a foundation is compacted--this means that tree roots will find little moisture or oxygen in the compacted clay directly under the foundation. This arborist further elaborated that a metal or plastic root barrier could be inserted around the foundation to protect the sides of the foundation, if necessary. To my knowledge, the possibility of a root barrier has not been considered for the redwood trees growing near the Business Building.
4. The redwood trees growing near the Business Building are a campus and community resource. They add oxygen to the air that we breathe and they provide shade for the Business Building. Air conditioning costs will undoubtedly rise, if these redwood trees are removed.
5. At the Business Building nature has produced a grove of redwood trees growing in harmony with a human-made building. It is rare on our planet that so many large trees are growing so close to a building without harming the building. The arborist that I consulted mentioned that trees will often grow around a foundation, without harming the foundation.
6. Removing the redwood trees growing near the Business Building at this time could bring unwanted public attention to San Jose City College--at a time when the District is recovering from months of negative publicity.
So that the tree removal proposal can be more broadly discussed among the members of the San Jose City College community, and so that opinions from other arborists and structural engineers can be obtained, please place a hold on the project to remove more than twenty-five Coast Redwood trees growing near the San Jose City College Business Building and to remove a number of Japanese Maple trees growing on campus. There are many qualified persons at San Jose State University who could provide opinions and recommendations. I hope that other members of the San Jose City College community will communicate with you concerning this matter.
When you travel to San Jose City College later today to be welcomed by the the San Jose City College community at a reception, I hope that you will visit the Coast Redwood trees growing near the Business Building and the Japanese Maple trees that have been listed for removal in the Tree Removal and Pruning Project.
Michael Divinia, PhD
San Jose City College