An order from the Poway City Council to have a 150 to 300-year-old tree chopped down has touched a nerve for some local residents. The tree is being sent to the gallows due to its rotting condition, which has created public safety concerns because there are fears its large branches could fall and hurt someone. Notably, the Kent Sycamore is one of the region’s oldest trees and it was just 10 years ago that the city designated it as a “heritage tree” due to its longevity and majestic stature.
While the majority of the tree lies on city property, about one-third of it falls under the territory of a local homeowner named Fred Zuill, who has pleaded with the council to spare the tree’s life. However, an arborist has already informed the council the tree cannot be saved from its rotting state. Zuill blames the city for developing the area around the tree years ago without thinking of the impact to the tree.
The city council expressed regret that the tree would have to come down but noted that public safety had to come first. Councilman Dave Grosch commented, “I feel sorry for the tree. The tree is the victim.” It is hoped that any wood salvaged from the tree can be put to good use.