The eight hundred dollar replacement trees at UC Berkeley
The Oakland Tribune
To the Editor:
I was quite astounded to read in a recent story "Shady Times: Dark days for magnificent trees at UC Berkeley" (The Tribune, August 11) that the University thinks that it has to replace old and ailing campus trees with twelve-foot high replacement trees at $800 apiece. Why does the campus arborist department have to spend hundreds of dollars for a semi-mature tree when they can purchase seedlings for only a few dollars each? I have been purchasing deciduous and ornamental trees for my backyard home garden for $5 to $15 apiece for seedlings that range from one foot to four feet high.
Maybe UC could consider actually planting tree seeds! What a bizarre concept.... In this time of budget cutbacks and tuition hikes at UC, their grounds department ought to give up on the eight hundred dollar tree it would seem to me.
The Blue Gum Eucalyptus tree grows quite rapidly: I have Blue Gum seedlings that have grown to five feet high sixteen months after planting the seeds.
The Arbor Day Foundation offers ten free trees for an introductory ten dollar membership. Perhaps UC students, faculty and staff could join the Arbor Day Foundation enmasse and then donate their free trees to UC Berkeley. Their web address is: www.arborday.org/. Perhaps there could be a campus wide celebration of Arbor Day in the spring, with a massive group planting of trees. I would imagine that the Arbor Day Foundation would be only too happy to help.
James K. Sayre
11 August 2003