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free flyer - © Robert Sommers 2020

Monday, July 20, 2015


First light, Death Valley
I got a call the other day from my wife.

"The tree company that SDGE hired is here. They want to cut down the redwood."

I freaked. Tell them they can't. Why do they want to cut it down?

"They said its dying."

Its not dying, it's dry. Tell them they can't touch it.

I have two huge redwoods on my property, near fifty years old, over a hundred feet tall, kings of the valley floor. I had noticed some browning a few months ago and talked to Dana Adler, an arborist.

Dana explained that redwoods have shallow root systems. They get their nourishment through the air mainly. That is why they tend to grow near coastal fog. We are in the middle of a big drought and dry period. If the trees were dying whole branches would be brown. What we have is more of a spotted brown condition. Leslie relayed the information.

The tree guys backed off.

People who have read this blog for a long time have seen plenty of shots like this one, with the slightly out of focus red tailed hawk sitting on the power pole. Unfortunately you won't see them here again.

I was driving in the other day and something just wasn't right. Where the hell is the power pole? SDGE must have taken it down when I wasn't looking. Damn, it was right below the high canyon road, a favorite perch for my raptors over the years. Now it's gone. Shoot. It was very functional. Of course I had so many hawk shots this year that complaining seems a bit gluttonous.

Went to plant a cycad the other day, a zamia furferea Bill had given me. Stupidly I tried to do it without gloves and the sucker bit me, putting a nice thorn in my thumb. Renee got into serious trouble with a palm thorn infection a few years ago and I should have been more careful. Than I remember what I had read about this particular species; highly toxic to man and animals, no known antidote. Great. That was ingestion but who knows what got into my bloodstream? I washed the puncture out with peroxide and waited for my earthly reward.

I'm still here.

First light, San Diego


Sanoguy said...

You might try a soaker hose for the redwood ... I am doing that to an oak and about 3 other assorted trees. Suggested by some knowledgeable tree folks.

Hudgins said...


You might wish to be extra vigilant with SDGE and Davey tree. I have a pepper that they try to butcher every year. They lie about the rules and they are sneaky. Just this last month they showed up and I told them to back off as the tree was not within the trim area per all of the CPUC, PRC, NERC, and Cal OSHA regs that they attempt to coerce one with.

The foreman said to me, "are you going to be here all day?". I assured him that I was. He was just going to come back later and trim the tree.

A week later they came and trimmed the tree because one of their in house inspectors said that it needed trimming. They trimmed it from the neighbors property using a boom truck well outside of the easement. The only way to stop them would have been with a gun. Seriously!!!

Of course Davey tree and SDGE know that the odds of them getting sued for tree trimming are very small indeed.

Davey has a racket going with this contract and they will cut anything they can get to if you are not standing in it.

Be careful or that tree of yours is toast.