The growling of a chainsaw and the grinding of a woodchipper reverberated through downtown Glen Park today. The Bureau of Urban Forestry of SF Public Works was removing the ficus tree in front of Critter Fritters at 670 Chenery Street.
Through the racket, arborist Joseph Heulfenhaus shouted that the reason for the measure is bark occlusion, a brand new term for this urban dweller. The tree had a fork, meaning that the trunk had divided in two, with each part being roughly equal in size. At the site of the division the bark grew inward, causing a long depression where water seeps in. This can weaken the tree irreparably and cause it to split and topple over.
Heulfenhaus said that the stump will be removed and the tree will be replaced but he didn’t know with what kind: “That’s for the folks with degrees back in the office to figure out.”