Santa Cruz weekly "Good Times," runs cover story, "Eupocalypse Now, California FIRES rage on, so why are eucalyptus trees still the city's most protected menace?"
Ron Oliver, Fire Chief, is quoted as saying, "Eucalyptus are more dangerous because of the resins and oils, so they burn hotter than other trees. But in Santa Cruz they've been declared a heritage tree so we can't do much."
How do you define a "heritage tree"? Well, it "has a trunk with a circumference of 44 inches (approximately 14 inches in diameter or more), measured at 54 inches above existing grade..."
Why this arbitrary designation? Why this "circumference of 44 inches"? One of the city's arborists swears it's true: 44 inches was the waist size of the mayor of Santa Cruz at the time the heritage tree ordinance was written.
Fact: "Hummingbird nests are lost at a rate of 50 percent in eucalyptus, as opposed to 10 percent in native trees."
"Species diversity drops among the trees by about 70 percent, according to bird experts at Point Reyes Observatory."
For more, see the Good Times, July 24, 2008. GTWEEKLY.COM
Solid, well-researched article by Good Times News Editor, Chris J. Magyar, who quotes our neighbor David Zicarelli, "I have no sympathy for people who think of them as natural here. I've never met anyone who actually has these trees on their property who wants to save them. They're all people who look at them from afar. I like to call that sentimental environmentalism."
And, later in the story, a neighbor nods and remarks, 'After the atomic apocalypse, there will be nothing but cockroaches and eucalyptus."