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  1. TopTop #1
    Peter Schurch's Avatar
    Peter Schurch
     

    Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    The Barlow project wants to cut down the 80 foot tall Bunya Bunya Tree at the entrance to the town. The tree has been a landmark at the corner of Morris and Highway 12 for 100 years. Now the Barlow says this healthy tree is in the way of its corner development. They want to make the curb more truck friendly and to conform to CalTrans and ADA standards. There are probably alternatives but they aren't as easy for the developer although their original plans were to preserve the tree. They tried to get the Tree Board’s approval to cut the tree on January 2nd but the Tree Board said there wasn’t enough public notice given.

    What do you think? Could there be more effort made to preserve the tree? Is it worth saving?

    The Bunya Bunya tree's significance: The tree species is very old. Jurassic dinosaurs fed on the seeds. It was imported from Austrailia possibly by Luther Burbank. It is protected there and considered sacred by the Aboriginal people. Thousands of indigenous people once travelled to the Bunya Bunya gatherings. They stayed for months, set aside differences and celebrated the Bunya nut which tastes like Chestnut. The Bunya gatherings were accompanied by trade exchange, discussions and negotiations over marriage and regional issues. In some regions, the tree was never to be cut.

    The Bunya Bunya on the corner of Morris and Sebastopol Ave is most likely a male and has not posed a hazard due to falling cones.

    The next Tree Board meeting is on Wednesday, January 16th.

    Contact the Kenyon Webster, City Planner, (email below) if you have an opinion or question.

    [email protected]
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  2. TopTop #2
    Peter Schurch's Avatar
    Peter Schurch
     
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  4. TopTop #3
    Sereniti
    Guest

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    I like Barney's approach to business in general, however I am not in favor of cutting this tree down.

    This is a remarkable species of tree which I enjoy looking at every time I pass by. I think it is ((highly)) likely Luther Burbank had something to do with that tree being there.

    Barney is a creative and smart man, I'm sure he can come up with something that doesn't compromise the botanical heritage of this town.

    And if he wants to ask for help with figuring that out, I'm sure someone would be happy to give it some thought.

    Please remind us again prior to the meeting date that this is up for review so that people can step forward with their concerns.

    Thanks for the heads up!!
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  6. TopTop #4
    AJL's Avatar
    AJL
     

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    I reviewed the 17 pages submitted to the tree board and have a few spontaneous thoughts off the cuff.
    There is not enough information provided to express any accurate suggestions that thoroughly address the problem.
    All the consultants are being paid by the developer to come up with the least cost solution.

    Indirectly the City officials are also paid by the developer through the fees charged.
    Citizens making public comments don't pay any fees and take up city personnel's time.

    There are no elevations shown on the drawings submitted and no details of the civil plans showing what was approved to be built and the changes now being required allegedly by caltrans and/or ADA requirements.

    I can only glean some alternatives to moving the tree which may exist.
    Don't we all wonder why no one suggests relocating the power poles instead of the trees.
    Perhaps a parking spot could be sacraficed and the walkway brought onto the other side of the tree.
    If the radius is not adequate for trucks, maybe the truck route could be designated to a different corner.
    Might the crosswalk go the other direction around the intersection.
    Would a traffic circle save the tree?

    How about grates or a bridge design that could go over the roots instead of a paving profile the cutrs off 2' of them.
    Maybe the whole sidewalk could ramp up gently on each side so the finish grade does not need to drop 2' from where it is now.

    Maybe the crosswalk moves away from the corner altogether and the ADA access from morris to 12 is a path marked adjacent to the building. the curb cuts and cross walks could be in from the corner whatever distance is necessary. Maybe adjacent to the driveway with signals and stoplights placed appropriately to ensure safety of course.

    I don't suppose it is the tree boards active responsibility is to suggest alternatives to tree removal and that the appeal process will yield approval to avoid lawsuits. Of course, no one guarantees that a tree won't fall or drop something on someone eventually. I have seen many more hefty and dangerous palm tree parts falling than anything from the subject tree.

    I wonder where the nearest other Bunya Bunya tree is. Has any research been done on that?
    Does it make sense to be dropping the grade 2' when the area is part of the 100 year flood plain?
    Maybe the whole intersection would be better off raised?

    Just some of my off the cuff spontaneous thoughts.
    btw, it looks like there is no date that the application was deemed complete.
    Does anyone know how to access a transcript or recording of the meeting that took place on this topic?

    Quote Sereniti wrote: View Post
    I like Barney's approach to business in general, however I am not in favor of cutting this tree down.

    This is a remarkable species of tree which I enjoy looking at every time I pass by. I think it is ((highly)) likely Luther Burbank had something to do with that tree being there.

    Barney is a creative and smart man, I'm sure he can come up with something that doesn't compromise the botanical heritage of this town.

    And if he wants to ask for help with figuring that out, I'm sure someone would be happy to give it some thought.

    Please remind us again prior to the meeting date that this is up for review so that people can step forward with their concerns.

    Thanks for the heads up!!
    Last edited by Barry; 01-08-2013 at 11:11 AM.
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  8. TopTop #5
    Steve 2
    Guest

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    Save the tree 1
    Quote Peter Schurch wrote: View Post
    The Barlow project wants to cut down the 80 foot tall Bunya Bunya Tree at the entrance to the town. The tree has been a landmark at the corner of Morris and Highway 12 for 100 years. Now the Barlow says this healthy tree is in the way of its corner development. They want to make the curb more truck friendly and to conform to CalTrans and ADA standards. There are probably alternatives but they aren't as easy for the developer although their original plans were to preserve the tree. They tried to get the Tree Board’s approval to cut the tree on January 2nd but the Tree Board said there wasn’t enough public notice given.

    What do you think? Could there be more effort made to preserve the tree? Is it worth saving?

    The Bunya Bunya tree's significance: The tree species is very old. Jurassic dinosaurs fed on the seeds. It was imported from Austrailia possibly by Luther Burbank. It is protected there and considered sacred by the Aboriginal people. Thousands of indigenous people once travelled to the Bunya Bunya gatherings. They stayed for months, set aside differences and celebrated the Bunya nut which tastes like Chestnut. The Bunya gatherings were accompanied by trade exchange, discussions and negotiations over marriage and regional issues. In some regions, the tree was never to be cut.

    The Bunya Bunya on the corner of Morris and Sebastopol Ave is most likely a male and has not posed a hazard due to falling cones.

    The next Tree Board meeting is on Wednesday, January 16th.

    Contact the Kenyon Webster, City Planner, (email below) if you have an opinion or question.

    [email protected]
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  10. TopTop #6
    Feed The Birds's Avatar
    Feed The Birds
     

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    They knew the tree was there. The hell with them. The tree must stay!!
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  12. TopTop #7

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    I would like to see the tree stay and be honored in some way, perhaps with a plaque and a nice circular bench, which would invite the community to linger under it in such a lovely way. Highlight it as part of Sebastopol's history.

    The tree is healthy. I can't imagine choosing to kill a healthy 100 year old anything. Let's celebrate this tree.
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  14. TopTop #8
    theindependenteye's Avatar
    theindependenteye
    Supporting Member

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    I doubt I can be at the hearing, as I'm having heart surgery on the 10th. So just tossing in my two cents:

    The tree is there. It's been there a hundred years, yes? How long has the property owner or the developer been there?

    It's beautiful. Is the Barlow development building something as beautiful?

    The initial approval was for a plan that included leaving the tree. It's hard for me to understand why the Barlow development, depending to some degree on community good will, would propose something that would sour a significant portion of the local population on the people behind the development. I would hate to drive in on Hwy. 12 and have my stomach churn as I approached the Barlow site. I would much rather welcome this huge addition to our community, feeling they really have the community at heart. As I think they do.

    There are apparently other solutions, albeit more costly. Well, guys, you've got more money than I do, I suspect. Use it.

    Granted I'm sounding simplistic. But I think there are times to be simple. Anyone is welcome to communicate these thoughts at the hearing.

    Cheers—
    Conrad Bishop
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  15. TopTop #9

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    Perhaps the Barlow folks would agree to plant 5 or 10 new ones of this type of tree in the development or in a park somewhere to replace this old one. That would be a nice gesture. I hate to see nice old trees cut down, but when they are replaced with strong young new ones, it feels better.
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  17. TopTop #10

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    Late this morning as I was returning home, I paid special attention to the tree, its location, its image against the skyline and such. It's so beautiful! I feel even more strongly that The Barlow should save it. A bench surrounding its small mound would be perfect--a mini-park, or parklet, as they're being called these days.

    And perhaps the Barlow could incorporate an artist's rendering of the tree into its logo. This could spawn community contests--t-shirt designs, art by local students, poems about the tree.

    They want to make this corner more accessible to big trucks? Is that what we want to see as we come into town? How about making another corner, away from such public view, the point of access.

    The Barlow should embrace this beauty and run with it. It is a great opportunity.
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  19. TopTop #11
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    I see that the next meeting of the Tree Board is Wednesday, Jan 16th at 4pm at City Hall. That's the same day as our next Community Social. Perhaps somebody would be willing to go and carry some of the comments made here to that meeting and then come join us at the French Garden and let us know what happened?
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  21. TopTop #12

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    That tree is a landmark; and the wee bit of open space around it is a benefit to counter the density of the Barlow Project.

    Please let the Bunyan tree and that corner have some breathing room, for all patrons & passers by.

    Thanks
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  23. TopTop #13

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    Seems like removing a hundred yr. old tree would destabilize the surrounding soil; this may have further undesirable impacts new trees could not accommodate.

    Quote tomcat wrote: View Post
    Perhaps the Barlow folks would agree to plant 5 or 10 new ones of this type of tree in the development or in a park somewhere to replace this old one. That would be a nice gesture. I hate to see nice old trees cut down, but when they are replaced with strong young new ones, it feels better.
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  25. TopTop #14
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    It's heartening to see so much support for keeping the Bunya Bunya tree, however the Tree Board (which is also the Design Review Board) needs to resolve the requirement for and ADA compliant walkway.

    Please find key part off the staff report below.

    Seems like it turns on the word "reasonably". I wonder if the people involved considered all the possibilities, including both "creative" ones and and ones that are more costly.

    Given that this is a technical question, but one that many citizens care deeply about, I'd like to see a public workshop where the City Engineer can explain what's required, if there is any option for a variance, explain the solutions considered and then open it up for ideas from the community for alternative ways the requirement can be satisfied. Perhaps this can happen at the Jan 16th Tree Board meeting or be scheduled separately.
    Would any of you be willing to attend such a workshop?

    Barry





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  27. TopTop #15
    Thad's Avatar
    Thad
     

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    I would say this is a great opportunity for the skateboard enthusiasts to join this public fray and have kamikaze curved ramp exhibits placed over the roots that need cutting so a wheel chair could navigate.
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  29. TopTop #16
    Sereniti
    Guest

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    Right....! Sebastopol is one of the few communities where conversations like saving the Bunya Bunya tree would actually exist. So I follow this thread with great interest, yet feel like I'm in a Dr. Seuss novel.

    And then a skateboarder out of left field comes flying by and carves a chunk out of my cerebral pie hole.

    >>>>>>>>>>>> Only in Sebastopol!

    P.S. Where is Patrick's sculpture?????? It disappeared from the corner. Wasn't there a funky fisherman in a car there? Please bring it back Barlow. THIS IS THE ENTRANCE TO (((OUR TOWN))). We have history that matters to our character and sense of place. Thanks!


    Quote Thad wrote: View Post
    I would say this is a great opportunity for the skateboard enthusiasts to join this public fray and have kamikaze curved ramp exhibits placed over the roots that need cutting so a wheel chair could navigate.
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  31. TopTop #17
    sandoak's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    I met with Kenyon Webster on an unrelated matter today and learned that the issue about this tree is ADA compliance. To make the walkways meet ADA codes, large roots of the tree will have to be cut. This will destabilize the tree, whether or not it sickens it. The city arborists as well as Barlow's arborists do not see a viable way to save the tree while meeting ADA code. They also see it as a tree "well past its prime." [Personally, I suspect the arborists and city officials are also well past their prime and would not consider that a reason to shorten their remaining time, but I was raised by trees and have an odd perspective.]

    The intersection will be an important and busy pedestrian thoroughfare if the Barlow is successful. There is also concern about bunya bunya cones, which have killed people just by falling on their heads, although the arborists haven't noticed any cones of late.

    These are facts to take into consideration when choosing a course of action on behalf of this tree.

    A couple of clever people have suggested building a ramped walkway over the roots, or, even more creative, a wheel-chair-friendly skateboard ramp. These and other suggestions can be brought to the Tree Board when they meet on January 16.

    If she [or given the lack of cones, he] cannot be saved, perhaps the next best thing is to have a ceremony to honor the death of this longtime keeper of the gate.

    Blessings to all...


    Quote Steve 2 wrote: View Post
    Save the tree 1
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  33. TopTop #18
    Sereniti
    Guest

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    I MUST give my 2 cents on ADA. I am an individual that has experienced SEVERE mobility impairment, I am well acquainted with wheelchairs and walkers and ....even crawling when neither of those items served me to get around.

    The area around the tree is the entrance to the town, but not a main pedestrian thoroughfare. Most movement, especially mobility impaired individuals will be moving from cars to the shops, and occasionally a bus or taxi.

    IF, AND THIS IS A BIG IF, you have granny whizzing around in a wheelchair... she is more likely coming from the direction of the plaza and downtown than the trailer park that is closing and the 3 stores across the street.... which she would still have access to if she is whizzing down the sidewalk on highway 12. (Which BTW, this area is already sensitive to traffic count increases of any kind and should not be encouraged.)

    So honestly, I don't see the ADA argument holding water. Anyone that truly understands mobility impairment will tell you that this whole conversation is ridiculous, (IF) that is the crux of this whole conversation.

    Please go spend your money on putting elevators in multi-tenant and public buildings that lack them, rather than creating issues where none exist..... It will be much more appreciated and better utilized by those that need them.



    Quote sandoak wrote: View Post
    I met with Kenyon Webster on an unrelated matter today and learned that the issue about this tree is ADA compliance. To make the walkways meet ADA codes, large roots of the tree will have to be cut. This will destabilize the tree, whether or not it sickens it. The city arborists as well as Barlow's arborists do not see a viable way to save the tree while meeting ADA code.
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  35. TopTop #19
    sandoak's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    Thank you! Would you please give these important insights to the Tree Board?

    Quote Sereniti wrote: View Post
    I MUST give my 2 cents on ADA. I am an individual that has experienced SEVERE mobility impairment, I am well acquainted with wheelchairs and walkers and ....even crawling when neither of those items served me to get around.

    The area around the tree is the entrance to the town, but not a main pedestrian thoroughfare. Most movement, especially mobility impaired individuals will be moving from cars to the shops, and occasionally a bus or taxi.

    IF, AND THIS IS A BIG IF, you have granny whizzing around in a wheelchair... she is more likely coming from the direction of the plaza and downtown than the trailer park that is closing and the 3 stores across the street.... which she would still have access to if she is whizzing down the sidewalk on highway 12. (Which BTW, this area is already sensitive to traffic count increases of any kind and should not be encouraged.)

    So honestly, I don't see the ADA argument holding water. Anyone that truly understands mobility impairment will tell you that this whole conversation is ridiculous, (IF) that is the crux of this whole conversation.

    Please go spend your money on putting elevators in multi-tenant and public buildings that lack them, rather than creating issues where none exist..... It will be much more appreciated and better utilized by those that need them.
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  37. TopTop #20
    sunlight's Avatar
    sunlight
     

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    We read about the Barlow's "need" to cut down the Bunya Bunya tree. PLEASE! Do not allow it!

    Years ago I stood in front of a house mover tractor (complete with house and 13 burly men) and successfully blocked it from moving in a house.The developer said the move required cutting down 4 large old trees so they could move the house in.

    I told the developer to figure out another way to move the house past my property, as no trees would be cut. He thought I was a joke.

    They weren't even my trees, but were adjacent to my large back yard, and beautiful.

    He had not even attempted to try any other solution, but when pushed, he DID find a solution and entered w the house another way.

    The trees and I made the front page of the paper in Roseburg, Oregon, and the contractor who was running for County Supervisor lost the election after the tree publicity.

    This is situation is similar to me. The Barlow project already knew about this tree when they started. barney knew it existed!

    He originally proposed keeping this tree. Did he just plan to later change his mind? And no one would notice??

    Why not embrace this sacred tree by protecting it and building a (wooden) bench around it as some have suggested. It could be a special spot in the middle of all those buildings! I would love to have that spot to go sit when /if I visit The Barlow.

    Protecting speaks more to the Sebastopol that I love than the cutting of such a majestic, old tree.

    We need to protect our Sebastopol in any ways possible . The tree was here first!!

    Re: ADA requirements: I am a woman with a disability requiring me to be in a wheelchair. It is electric and I get around fairly well.....except for when I try and cross the streets in a marked crosswalk......which is majorly dangerous. I am certainly all for ADA accommodations, but I do not know any one of us who would want this tree to be cut down to "meet ADA requirements". What ADA requirements are they? It sounds bogus to me.

    Please please save this tree!!! I want to look at it always.
    Thank you,

    Alice McNair
    Smiling Sun Farms
    Certified Organic, Certified Bio Dynamic Farm
    Sebastopol, CA
    Last edited by Barry; 01-15-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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  38. TopTop #21
    sandoak's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    The Tree Board meeting is Wednesday, January 16, 4 pm at Sebastopol City Hall.

    And here's another viewpoint, from the Press Democrat:

    Sebastopol rallies around the Bunya Bunya tree

    Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 | Posted by Andrea Granahan | 4 responses

    Sebastopol’s landmark tree at the corner of Morris St. and Sebastopol Ave. is not a native, but it has stood for so many generations as landmark that many were upset that it might have to go. There will be a meeting about it Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. at Sebastopol City Hall.

    The tree is a Bunya Bunya tree from Australia and there has been speculation for years that it was planted by Luther Burbank. In Australia the tree is apparently considered sacred by the Aborigines.

    Sebastopol’s Bunya Bunya is 80 feet tall, a male tree, so there is no danger from falling pine cones, but it is so old and has such a developed root system that the Barlow Project may be forced to cut it down to make room for a pedestrian crossing.

    “This was discovered late in construction when they first went to start construction on the crossing,” said Sebastopol Planner Kenyon Webster.

    The developers tried to get the Tree Board’s approval to cut the tree on Jan. 2 but the Tree Board of the Planning Department ruled there wasn’t enough public notice given and continued the item to the Jan. 16 meeting.

    According to Yolanda Lopez, a representative of the Barlow, the owner Barney Aldridge is heartbroken. “He loves the tree. We’d love it if we could get the city and CalTrans to push back and relax their standards somewhat. We’ve had the city engineer, our engineer, a landscape architect and an arborist out there to look at it.”

    Unless someone comes up with a solution at the Jan. 16 meeting it appears it’s bye bye Bunya Bunya, and the end of a living Sebastopol landmark.
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  40. TopTop #22
    sambacat's Avatar
    sambacat
    Supporting member

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    How about the option of putting an ADA compliant crossing down the street rather than at the corner, like we have in front of Whole Foods. We could route a path clear of the tree to allow anyone to get anywhere they need to get without impacting the root structure of the tree. The best route between point A and point B may not be a straight line.
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  41. TopTop #23
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    What a fabulous idea!
    Quote sambacat wrote: View Post
    How about the option of putting an ADA compliant crossing down the street rather than at the corner, like we have in front of Whole Foods. We could route a path clear of the tree to allow anyone to get anywhere they need to get without impacting the root structure of the tree. The best route between point A and point B may not be a straight line.
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  43. TopTop #24
    handy's Avatar
    handy
     

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    Quote sambacat wrote: View Post
    How about the option of putting an ADA compliant crossing down the street rather than at the corner, like we have in front of Whole Foods. We could route a path clear of the tree to allow anyone to get anywhere they need to get without impacting the root structure of the tree. The best route between point A and point B may not be a straight line.
    Additionally, how about using 10th Amendment States' rights to tell the Federal "public servants" who wrote these blanket ADA constraints to go **** themselves, and butt out of our local affairs. Just a thought.
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  45. TopTop #25
    AJL's Avatar
    AJL
     

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    Look at where the ada ramp is for the Bradley video- sandy paints building.
    Imagine the pedestrian crossing there. Now it has a diversion railing to prevent people from crossing at that spot.
    No sidewalk at the corner...No ada requirement ...the tree stays.
    Also, perhaps it is safer not to have sidewalks near the tree.
    What do you think is the best way to present this to the powers that can make a decision?

    Quote sambacat wrote: View Post
    How about the option of putting an ADA compliant crossing down the street rather than at the corner, like we have in front of Whole Foods. We could route a path clear of the tree to allow anyone to get anywhere they need to get without impacting the root structure of the tree. The best route between point A and point B may not be a straight line.
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  47. TopTop #26
    Michaela McGivern's Avatar
    Michaela McGivern
     

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    How about installing the crosswalks on the other 3 corners? Yes it is more money but this tree can live for 500 years and has a rich history and cultural significance. See the Wikipedia description below:
    Cultural significance

    The bunya, bonye, bunyi or bunya-bunya in various Australian Aboriginal languages was colloquially named the Bunya Pine by Europeans. However, Araucaria bidwillii is not a pine tree (of the genus Pinus). It belongs to the same genus as the monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) and is commonly referred to as the "false monkey puzzle".
    The Bunya tree grows to a height of 30–45 metres, and the cones, which contain the edible kernels, are the size of footballs.[4]
    The ripe cones fall to the ground. Each segment contains a kernel in a tough protective shell, which will split when boiled or put in a fire. The flavour of the kernel is similar to a chestnut.[5]
    A Bunya festival was recorded by Thomas (Tom) Petrie (1831–1910), who went with the Aboriginal people of Brisbane at the age of 14 to the festival at the Bunya Range (now the Blackall Range in the hinterland area of the Sunshine Coast). His daughter, Constance Petrie, put down his stories in which he said that the trees fruited at three-year intervals.[6]The three-year interval may not be correct. Ludwig Leichhardt wrote in 1844 of his expedition to the Bunya feast.[7] The Bunya trees pollinate in South East Queensland in September, October and the cones fall seventeen to eighteen months later in late January to early March from the coast to the current Bunya Mountains. When there is heavy rainfall or drought, pollination may vary. The large festival harvests may vary between two and seven years. When the fruit was ripe, the people of the region would set aside differences and gather in the Bon-yi Mountains (Bunya Mountains) to feast on the kernels.[citation needed]
    As the fruit ripened, locals, who were bound by custodial obligations and rights, sent out messengers to invite people from hundreds of kilometres to meet at specific sites. The meetings involved ceremonies, dispute settlements and fights, marriage arrangements and the trading of goods. The Aborigines’ fierce protection of the trees and recognition of the value of the timber, led to colonial authorities prohibiting settlers from cutting the trees in the 1842. The resource was too valuable, and the aboriginals were driven out of the forests along with the ability to run the festivals. The forests were felled for timber and cleared to make way for cultivation.[8]
    In what was probably Australia's largest indigenous event, diverse tribes – up to thousands of people – once travelled great distances (from as far as Charleville, Dubbo, Bundaberg and Grafton) to the gatherings. They stayed for months, to celebrate and feast on the bunya nut. The bunya gatherings were an armistice accompanied by much trade exchange, and discussions and negotiations over marriage and regional issues. Due to the sacred status of the bunyas, some tribes would not camp amongst these trees. Also in some regions, the tree was never to be cut.[citation needed]
    [edit]Uses


    Whole cone and nuts


    A comparison on how large the Pine Cones can grow

    Indigenous Australians eat the nut of the bunya tree both raw and cooked (roasted, and in more recent times boiled), and also in its immature form. Traditionally, the nuts were additionally ground and made into a paste, which was eaten directly or cooked in hot coals to make bread. The nuts were also stored in the mud of running creeks, and eaten in a fermented state. This was considered a delicacy.
    Apart from consuming the nuts, Indigenous Australians ate bunya shoots, and utilised the tree's bark as kindling.
    Bunya nuts are still sold as a regular food item in grocery stalls and street-side stalls around rural southern Queensland. Some farmers in the Wide Bay/ Sunshine Coast regions have experimented with growing bunya trees commercially for their nuts and timber.
    Since the mid-1990s, the Australian company Maton has used bunya for the soundboards of its BG808CL Performer acoustic guitars. TheCole Clark company (also Australian) uses bunya for the majority of its acoustic guitar soundboards. The timber is valued by cabinet makers and woodworkers, and has been used for that purpose for over a century.
    However its most popular use is as a 'bushfood' by indigenous foods enthusiasts. A huge variety of home-invented recipes now exists for the bunya nut; from pancakes, biscuits and breads, to casseroles, to 'bunya nut pesto' or hoummus. The nut is considered nutritious, with a unique flavour similar to starchy potato and chestnut. The nutritional content of the bunya nut is: 40% water, 40% complex carbohydrates, 9% protein, 2% fat, 0.2% potassium, 0.06% magnesium.[9] It is also gluten free, making bunya nut flour a substitute for people with gluten intolerance.
    [edit]Cultivation


    A pair of bunya seedlings showing the change in leaf colour. The cotyledons arehypogeal, remaining below the ground.

    Bunya nuts are slow to germinate. A set of 12 seeds sown in Melbourne took an average of about six months to germinate (with the first germinating in 3 months) and only developed roots after 1 year. The first leaves form a rosette and are dark brown. The leaves only turn green once the first stem branch occurs. Unlike the mature leaves, the young leaves are relatively soft. As the leaves age they become very hard and sharp.
    In the highly variable Australian climate, the spread of actual emergence of the bunya maximises the possibility of at least successful replacement of the parent tree. A test of germination was carried out by Smith starting in 1999.[10] Seeds were extracted from two mature cones collected from the same tree, a cultivated specimen at Petrie, just north of Brisbane (originally the homestead of Thomas Petrie, the son of the first European to report the species). One hundred apparently full seeds were selected and planted into 30 cm by 12 cm plastic tubes commercially filled with sterile potting mix in early February 1999. These were then placed in a shaded area and watered weekly. Four tubes were lost due to being knocked over. A total of the 100 seeds placed 87 germinated. The tubes were checked monthly for emergence over 3 years. Of these seeds, 55 cones emerged from each month from April to December, 1999; 32 emerged from January to September in 2000 and 1 seed emerged in January 2001 and the last 1 appeared in February 2001.[10]
    Once established bunyas are quite hardy and can be grown as far south as Hobart in Australia (42° S) and Christchurch in New Zealand (43° S)[11] and (at least) as far north as Sacramento in California (38° N)[12] and Lisbon (in the botanical garden) and even in Dublin area in Ireland (53ºN) in a microclimate protected from arctic winds and moderated by the Gulf Stream.[13] They will reach a height of 35 to 40 metres, and live for about 500 years.
    Quote sandoak wrote: View Post
    The Tree Board meeting is Wednesday, January 16, 4 pm at Sebastopol City Hall.

    And here's another viewpoint, from the Press Democrat:

    Sebastopol rallies around the Bunya Bunya tree

    Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 | Posted by Andrea Granahan | 4 responses

    Sebastopol’s landmark tree at the corner of Morris St. and Sebastopol Ave. is not a native, but it has stood for so many generations as landmark that many were upset that it might have to go. There will be a meeting about it Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. at Sebastopol City Hall.

    The tree is a Bunya Bunya tree from Australia and there has been speculation for years that it was planted by Luther Burbank. In Australia the tree is apparently considered sacred by the Aborigines.

    Sebastopol’s Bunya Bunya is 80 feet tall, a male tree, so there is no danger from falling pine cones, but it is so old and has such a developed root system that the Barlow Project may be forced to cut it down to make room for a pedestrian crossing.

    “This was discovered late in construction when they first went to start construction on the crossing,” said Sebastopol Planner Kenyon Webster.

    The developers tried to get the Tree Board’s approval to cut the tree on Jan. 2 but the Tree Board of the Planning Department ruled there wasn’t enough public notice given and continued the item to the Jan. 16 meeting.

    According to Yolanda Lopez, a representative of the Barlow, the owner Barney Aldridge is heartbroken. “He loves the tree. We’d love it if we could get the city and CalTrans to push back and relax their standards somewhat. We’ve had the city engineer, our engineer, a landscape architect and an arborist out there to look at it.”

    Unless someone comes up with a solution at the Jan. 16 meeting it appears it’s bye bye Bunya Bunya, and the end of a living Sebastopol landmark.
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  48. Gratitude expressed by 8 members:

  49. TopTop #27

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    I think it is worth forcing the issue and saving this magnificent and endangered tree. Do you have a contact for the developer? The Developer has options other than removal of this historic tree, and should be encouraged to comply. He should meet with Hollynn D’Lil an ADA consultant and find out how he can comply with ADA requirements without removing this historic tree.

    If he will not adjust to accommodate this tree then I would support boycotting the entire Barlow redevelopment project and all businesses that plan to occupy it.



    I know the Barlow family that previously occupied the property and as a consultant to them I know where the inconvenient “bodies” are buried. Perhaps these guys, and the City of Sebastopol would like those “bodies” exhumed.

    Bob Rawson
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  51. TopTop #28
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    Did Bob give you permission to post this? Which part did he write and which part did you write, Colleen? Perhaps Bob would like to introduce himself further here.

    Quote Peace Voyager wrote: View Post
    I think it is worth forcing the issue and saving this magnificent and endangered tree. Do you have a contact for the developer? The Developer has options other than removal of this historic tree, and should be encouraged to comply. He should meet with Hollynn D’Lil an ADA consultant and find out how he can comply with ADA requirements without removing this historic tree.

    If he will not adjust to accommodate this tree then I would support boycotting the entire Barlow redevelopment project and all businesses that plan to occupy it.



    I know the Barlow family that previously occupied the property and as a consultant to them I know where the inconvenient “bodies” are buried. Perhaps these guys, and the City of Sebastopol would like those “bodies” exhumed.

    Bob Rawson
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  53. TopTop #29
    Skye
    Guest

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    why is this tree banded two thirds up? If this collar stays won't it kill the tree anyway?
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  54. TopTop #30
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Barlow Wants to Cut the Bunya Bunya Tree

    Here's a few updates on process around the future of the Bunya Bunya tree.

    1) The Barlow has posted on Facebook that they are monitoring this thread on WaccoBB with great interest. So keep your constructive comments and ideas coming!

    2) The draft minutes from the last Tree Board meeting where they discussed the tree are here.

    3) The Tree Board meets again this Wednesday, January 16th at 4pm at City Hall (next to the library). The request to remove (kill) the Bunya Bunya tree is the first and only thing on the agenda. I recommend attending if you care about this tree to show the city that we care. My sense is that they haven't tried hard enough to find an option that can preserve this significant tree. I'll be delaying the start of our Community Social so I can show up as well.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-14-2013 at 12:26 PM.
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