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.