Meeting set for Tuesday (Jan. 8) on proposal to cut trees at 1000 El Camino

In 1983, there were only small trees in front of the office building at 1000 El Camino Real in Menlo Park, according to this photo supplied by the building's owner.

Daily Post Staff Writer

Opposition is brewing over plans to remove seven heritage trees at 1000 El Camino Real, but a representative of the building’s owner is saying hold on — those trees were planted some 30 years ago.

The city will hold an “informational meeting” about the tree removal plan tomorrow at 4 p.m. at City Hall, 701 Laurel St.

The city called the meeting after it began receiving a steady stream of emails from residents who want to save the trees at the corner of Ravenswood Avenue and El Camino.

The trees slated for removal are shown in the red squares.

The emails began when the building’s owner put up notices on the trees saying they were going to be removed.

“For me, there is only one pretty section on El Camino in all of Menlo Park — the group of seven heritage coast redwoods at the corner of Ravenswood and El Camino. These are lovely trees, full, lush, brilliant green and healthy,” wrote resident Nancy Borgeson. “Please do not permit their destruction. The fact that 14 new trees are being offered as a replacement would be like substituting a clump of shrubs for a majestic oak and calling it an even trade.”

Roots blamed

Matt Matteson, who is part of the 1000 El Camino ownership, is proposing to remove the trees in order to improve the patio and path outside the building and perform maintenance on the underground garage.

According to Ken Rakestraw, who is working with Matteson on the project, the roots of the trees have caused damage to the waterproofing of the underground garage, and if left unmoved, the tree roots will further damage the garage.

Some of the trees that are to be removed at 1000 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Daily Post photo by Emily Mibach.

“We have explored every possible option with an arborist and engineers to avoid removing the trees, but there is just no way to repair and maintain the building without doing so,” Rakestraw said.

Trees go back to 1983

Rakestraw added that the trees were planted in 1983 when the development was completed, and nobody knew at that time how much damage the roots would cause to the building.

Additionally, 14 trees will be planted in lieu of the seven trees that will be knocked down.

The office building at 1000 El Camino Real is under construction in this 1983 photo supplied by the building’s owner.