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A Guide to the Hazardous Trees on USF's Campus By Gabriel Lorenzo Greschler — Jan. 30, 2019

On the morning of Jan. 17, University of San Francisco students, faculty and staff were surprised to find one of the towering, 80-foot Leyland Cypress trees along Golden Gate Avenue fallen over across the road. The tree had come down the night before, near the Harney Science Center, during heavy rain and wind. Nobody was hurt and no cars were damaged.

GABRIEL GRESCHLER/FOGHORN

Documents and emails obtained by the Foghorn reveal that San Francisco Public Works (SFPW), the office that oversees the city’s infrastructure, did not approve a request by the University to remove the tree two weeks before it fell.

But trees have fallen around campus before...

One on Jan. 8, 2017, damaged three parked cars. Javier Lopez, a junior at the time, was one of the students whose car was totaled. (Photo courtesy of Javier Lopez)
“It kind of sucked having the tree [w]reck my car since it was my first car that I had personally paid for, and knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get another from my own personal expenses sucked,” Lopez said in an email. “Especially the amount of time it took me to save up for the down payment and monthly payments; I felt [like] it was all thrown down the drain.”
COURTESY OF JAVIER LOPEZ

In fact, over the past three years, six trees have fallen on USF's campus:

NOTE: THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE TREES USF HAS PREEMPTIVELY REMOVED. VISUALIZATION BY GABRIEL GRESCHLER/FOGHORN

The city did approve two other hazardous trees for removal in January 2019.

These are subject to a 30-day public comment period before they are removed on Feb. 3.

This tree has been deemed an "extreme risk" by arborists. It's located on the corner of Golden Gate Avenue and Tamalpais Terrace. After a 30-day public comment period, it will be removed on Feb. 3. (Gabriel Greschler/Foghorn)
The other tree due for removal is within 20 feet of the one that fell on Jan. 16, 2019. An inspection by arborists found significant decay in the main trunk. It will also be removed Feb. 3. (Gabriel Greschler/Foghorn)
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