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This past Saturday a team of hard-working volunteers removed two species of invasive trees that were sprouting up in the Foothill Blvd parkway – Ailanthus altissima (Tree-of-Heaven) and Melia azedarach (Chinaberry). Both of these fast-growing Asian Trees resprout from stumps or root fragments, so the volunteers had to dig up the roots.

Prof. Dick Haskell (HMC), Bryan Visser (HMC ’13), Thendral Govindaraj (HMC ’16), Cleo Stannard (HMC ’16), Lee Krusa, Caroline Nielsen (HMC ’16), and Tim Cox digging out Trees-of-Heaven and Chinaberries. ©Nancy Hamlett.


Cleo Stannard (HMC ’15) and Tim Cox dig out a Tree-of-Heaven sprouting from a large root, while in the background Sarah Stevens (HMC ’15), Thendral Govindaraj (HMC ’16), and Caroline Nielsen (HMC ’16) dig up more trees. ©Nancy Hamlett.

The volunteers completely removed all the invasive trees from two areas – one to the east of the entry gate…

Before: Trees-of-Heaven sprouting in the parkway east of the entry gate. ©Nancy Hamlett.

After: Trees-of-Heaven removed. ©Nancy Hamlett.

…and one to the west.

Before: Trees-of-Heaven and Chinaberries west of the entry gate. ©Nancy Hamlett.

After: Trees-of-Heaven and Chinaberries removed. ©Nancy Hamlett.

While working in the parkway, the volunteers also trimmed up some of the Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia) and European Olives (Olea europaea) where there was evidence of camping under the tree canopies.

Scott Rayermann (HMC ’13), Maria Morabe (HMC ’13), and Prof. Paul Stapp (Cal State Fullerton) trim low-hanging branches from a Coast Live Oak. ©Nancy Hamlett.


The BFS entrance with the live oak trees trimmed up. ©Nancy Hamlett.

And last, the volunteers picked up trash in the parkway – plastic bags, papers, fast food cups, an old yoga mat, and even a political campaign sign.

Maria Morabe (HMC ’13) and Anne Clark (HMC ’13) pick up trash in the parkway. ©Nancy Hamlett.

Of course, we also noticed some interesting flora and fauna. Ben Stapp found a burl from an olive tree…

An olive burl found while trimming the Olive Trees. ©Nancy Hamlett

…and his dad, Prof. Paul Stapp, uncovered a Jerusalem Cricket (Stenopelmatus sp.) while digging.

A Jerusalem Cricket uncovered during the digging. ©Nancy Hamlett.

Thanks to all the volunteers, who did a terrific job! Everyone is welcome to join us on the first and third Saturdays for most months – you can check the schedule here.

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