tv Government Access Programming SFGTV November 17, 2018 2:00am-3:01am PST
is done without being incredibly thorough and really organizing and getting the community involved. i think this is one of the most compelling hearings i've ever seen for a liquor license. it is a best of san francisco. i even teared up at one point thinking that marco posta his mom felt safe because tonic was below her or dr chief was below her. but as a supervisor of the mission district, i know the reputation and the responsible way in which dr chief is run. i have had nothing but good experiences working with the owners of tonic and i am extremely proud and excited and supportive of this transfer. and would make a motion to say
that this will meets the public necessity and convenience and recommend that this move forward with recommendations. >> good. >> that meets the clerk process requirements. we will do that without objection. >> great. congratulations. >> mr. clerk, call our next item >> is a hearing to discuss updates and outcomes from year one of the bureau of urban forestry's street tree s.f. program. >> thank you. i'm very excited for this hearing. in 2016, 79% of san franciscans voted to pass proposition e. declaring, by an overwhelming majority of the maintenance of our overwhelming forest should be the responsibility of city government and not neighbors. i want to give special recognition first to say centre
-- to safe centre supervisor, scott weiner. in this regard, he was carrying a torch handed to him by his predecessor, mark leno who had long been a member of friends of the urban forest and a champion of our street trees. at any right, following passage of proposition e., we inherited almost 100,000 additional trees. with that came a dedicated $19 million a year for the hundred 25,000 street trees lining the sidewalks and public right of way. growing pains are to be expected with any transition of this magnitude and implementation of property now deb street tree s.f. is no difference. i called this hearing to provide the bureau of urban forestry and the public works the opportunity to talk about the impacts and challenges and to share early successes. since i joined this board in july, my office has received
thousands of calls and e-mails from constituents with requests for help and information with all sorts of topics. tree maintenance is actually second after homelessness. some constituents have raised concerns about trees they believed to be dangerous and requiring immediate removal. some are frustrated with overgrown trees that are not being trimmed or pruned quickly enough. others have been concerned to see crews show up to prune a tree that does not seem to need pruning. others have been horrified to see beloved trees removed without explanation. they believe or an error, they may believe. our street trees are a process -- precious resource that provides san francisco with clean air and can transform otherwise barren and blighted neighborhoods. some of these trees have very special meaning for neighbors that planted and cared for them lovingly for years. many of these trees, as we will learn during the hearing are suffering after years or decades of preferred maintenance by
neighbors in the city. i want us to recognize that in spite of the many challenges, they have gone above and beyond in a number of cases since the program began. i'm familiar with at least two such stories. one involves the beautiful and gorgeous ficus trees around everett middle school. they needed to be -- there are potentially dangerous and needed to be removed. they worked closely with my office and the neighbors to come up with a plan that involved not just replacement of the trees that were removed, that a significant expansion of the trees in that area. i am very grateful for that. then along market street, i'm particularly pleased we have managed to get the palm trees trimmed after, what was five years, but it was more like a decade since there is a complete full pruning. thank you for that. again, i want to thank beth and
superintendent short from friends of the urban forestry for their commitment in implementing this in a way that fulfils it while hearing and responding to concerns. i look forward to building on the successes of street tree s.f. and to begin a conversation of how to further grow our street canopy in the years to come. i want to give thanks to my aid for all the work that she has done in pulling this hearing together. and the way this will run is first, i will give the floor to michael mcdonald from senator weiner process office to read on behalf of senator weiner. and then we will hear from carla shirt -- published short. and finally we will hear from dan flanagan on behalf of the friends of the urban forest. mr mcdonald? >> honourable chair, good morning.
my name is michael mcdonald. on behalf of senator scott weiner, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to read a brief statement. as proposition e.'s author, senator weiner would like to thank supervisor mandelman and would like to thank the other supervisors for the continued interest in the street tree s.f. program. after years of collaboration, among my office, city departments and advocates, san francisco voters approved proposition 80 by 79%. they made clear that protecting and caring for her san francisco 's urban forest was a high priority. for too long, had our cities trees been neglected or healthy trees removed because homeowners did not want to bear the cost of maintenance. with the implementation of street tree s.f., we can make sure that san francisco's trees are well cared for and this will benefit the city for decades to come. the incentive to remove trees is gone. in fact, more and more trees are
being planted each year. our friends a public works and friends of the urban forest continue to do amazing work in making sure that the urban forest is in every neighborhood. senator weiner has great confidence that this body will work diligently to ensure the best possible outcome for street tree s.f. with just over a year since the program was adopted, senator weiner is optimistic that these reports will show the success and future potential of street tree s.f. supervisor mandelman, the senator would like to thank you for your attention in this matter and allowing me to read the statement. thank you. >> thank you. message -- ms. miss short? i got to know her a decade ago pick one of the most frustrating experiences of being on the board of appeals was at that time, trees were all the responsibility of the neighboring property owner and there was a tremendous incentive
for neighbors to get those removed. a someone who did not want to see those trees removed, it put us on the board of appeals in a pretty hard spot of trying to balance those. she is doing a great job now and was doing a great job than. i'm looking forward to hearing your presentation. >> thank you. thank you for convening this hearing and giving us the opportunity to highlight the work we've done over the last year with street tree s.f. if we could have our presentation on the screen. just a quick note before i get started, we are currently planting several of the replacement trees that everett middle school while this hearing is happening today. and large 48 box replacement trees. i just want to give a little bit of background before launching into what we've done over the last year. as you've noted, prior to street
tree s.f., property owners were responsible for maintenance of the majority of street trees and prior to 2017, public works was responsible for only approximately 30,000 street trees and property property owners were responsible for the remaining 85,000. as noted, there has been deferred maintenance across the board. even when the city was only responsible for 30,000 street trees, we were operating on a 10 -12 your pruning cycle rather than the recommended 3-5 years. as a result of the decline in resources over a ten-year period , we began to transfer even more street trees to adjacent property owners for maintenance. the transfer of maintenance resulted in property owners who were unable or unwilling to care for trees. certain property owners who faced because they had never born before our anticipated. and the lack of consistent care
and confusion over who was responsible for maintaining what , along with property owners unwillingness to care for trees resulted in poor or no tree care for many of the street trees. one of my favourite quotes from your predecessor, state senator weiner, was if you got the smartest people you could find and put them in a room and asked them to come up with the worst possible tree care program, they would not even imagine this one off mark. >> all of these factors together created the deferred maintenance that street tree s.f. is challenged with today. >> that came from your district. [laughter] >> again, part of the history, in 2015, the master plan was unanimously adopted by the board it was comprised of three main parts. the policy documents and vision, a financing study, and a
comprehensive street tree census after researching the best practices from around the state and country, that plan recommended 100% municipally managed street tree program. public works should be responsible for maintaining all trees in the public right-of-way the financing study that was done as part of the urban forest master plan developed a really robust time model so we would know what will actually take us to care for these trees? they recommended establishing long-term funding for maintenance in particular and maintenance funding is usually the hardest funding to get. it is certainly the hardest funding to get that is consistent and stable. they determined that our program cost would be $90 million annually. working with senator weiner, we also facilitated a working group to look at those recommendations one of the clear items of feedback from the group is that property owners should not bear the cost of tree maintenance. and that contribution was essential.
for anyone to be willing to support a measure on the ballot. knowing that sustainable urban forest maintenance we need that contribution, we worked with the senator and friends of the urban forest to get proposition e. on the ballot. as several people have noted this morning, it passed with almost 80% of the vote, which does demonstrate that san francisco residents want to have a healthy urban forest and want to invest in it. so proposition a. became -- proposition e. became street tree s.f. because there would be, and there already has been additional propositions, we have named our street tree maintenance program street tree s.f. public works is now responsible to maintain 100% of the roughly 125,000 street trees, which includes pruning, tree related
sidewalk repairs, regular and routine inspections of trees, something we have never been able to do consistently over the years, and anticipates the maintenance of an additional 50,000 trees. getting into implementation over the past year, this is a map showing all the street trees in the city. >> and that is 50,000 trees beyond what we currently have? >> beyond what we currently have so our new maintenance practices , we are trying to be proactive. driven by plant maintenance, scheduled out and pruning corridors of trees. we are using data-driven infrastructure asset management principles. the tree inventory it was based a point in time. they took a census of all of the street trees but it is
constantly being updated by the urban forestry inspectors as well as the arborists who work on our trees. our maintenance decisions are guided by many factors. the constant analysis of the tree asset inventory and information from external stakeholders, the resources that we currently have available, the urban forest planning and other emergency response as needed. so we are trying to make this program as efficient and data-driven as possible. some of our accomplishments to date, even before property was put on the ballot, there were concerns expressed by owners who cared for and nurture their trees over the years. so the legislation actually allows a clause for property owners who would like to opt out of the tree maintenance program. we are very close to having a final agreements that the city attorney post s. office on board with and it will be posted on
our website, possibly even by the end of this week. in the meantime, we have been keeping a list of property owners who would wish to opt out of the program. anyone who is interested should contact our main office. it is also very prominent on our website. they can also e-mail us. the formal agreement will be posted on the website very soon. since street tree s.f. went into effect on july 1st, 2017, 19% of needs have been addressed. what that means is essentially trees that need to be removed or need to be pruned or are currently in the process of being pruned. there is an active process going through those trees. we want to note that 1900 are unhealthy or structurally unsound trees have been removed.
we are really focusing on what we call the worst first. we recognize that the only way to gain the efficiencies needed to make the program cost-effective is to prune in a grid system. we used the key maps to create -- create a weighted system by which the census which identifies the condition and the needs of the trees were given priority. priority one and two are the highest priorities for pruning and removal. we created a weighted map that allows us to concentrate on the worst first, will pruning and an efficient way. it makes much more sense to go and prune the trees on the block then it does to prune one bad tree here and one bad tree here. we are systematically working our way through the grid map and we are focusing on the worst first. and key maps that have a higher density of trees will be the areas that we go into.
>> here is the map. it is also available interactively on our website. if property owners are curious about when we are projected to be on the blocker in the neighborhood, they can enter their address into the key map and it will tell them their projected pruning. >> in addition, we have addressed over 262,000 square feet of tree related sidewalk repairs in our first year. and over 4600 tripping hazards have been removed by concrete slicing. it is a cost-effective way to reduce tripping hazards and away -- it does not require water usage to reduce dust. there is a vacuum attached to that slicing mechanism. but any minor concrete uplift
can be removed by slicing which greatly reduces the risk and improves pedestrian safety. as we did with pruning needs, we mapped our notes on tree related sidewalk damage throughout the city and we overlaid those repair locations with high pedestrian corridors, senior centers, hospitals, and bus stop locations. the good news is, we found there were a few hotspots with the greatest number of vulnerable populations and sidewalk repair. we were able to go in to those areas and reduce the risk to the greatest number of people and vulnerable populations in the first year. one of the things that is close to my heart, is a portion of the program that allows pruning and care for trees in our schools. we included funding for school
trees because there was a recognition that tree maintenance funding would never compete in the school district's budget. we are reluctant to plant new trees around the district for fear that they will not be able to maintain them. so this year, the school district coordinated to address their highest priorities, which included pruning 93 trees and removing 20 hazardous trees at that rooftop elementary. there is ever growing evidence that trees actually help students learn. by allowing sfusd to care for their trees, they will be able to improve student access to trees and be willing to plant more trees increasing student concentration in learning. proper street tree pruning can sometimes look dramatic. and chair mandelman, you referred to some of the calls and people are concerned. i wanted to address the common
concerns we have. we do prune trees for clearance over roadways. it can look dramatic, particularly if a tree has never been pruned for trip clearance or if it is after years of deferred maintenance. but it's much, much better to prune a lamp -- limb off a tree than to have it get struck by a vehicle or a piece of equipment as everyone in san francisco is aware, there is construction all around us. with the 2011 road bond, many more blocks were paved than in previous years. we have construction projects occurring everywhere. when that happens, traffic gets routed right next to the curb. we have a catchphrase that we have been using in the bureau which is don't let a truck prune your tree. the reason for that is here in this slide, when he limb gets torn off by a piece of equipment , in some cases, it can damage the tree catastrophically and that tree must be removed.
while trees do need to get pruned for clearance, and it may get removed initially, that tree will certainly recover and we will prevent serious damage to the tree. i want to note, that we have been working with many contractors and we have quite a few contracts with local companies. we have certain contracts that are set aside for local business enterprises. we also have contracts set aside for smaller contractors who can compete against each other rather than competing against big companies. part of the goal of this program was we didn't want to put any of the wonderful tree companies that were working in san francisco out of work, but we are rather bringing them into work with us to prune the trees in san francisco. i have had some residents who initially wanted to opt out of the program, and then when they learned that my artist is one of your contractors, you are hiring
people we know -- you know and love and they will let us pay for the pruning. we currently have 36 million in contracting capacity. we are ahead of our 19 million but we are gearing up so we can flow easily and the second year, as we have just started, we kept the contracts going and moving. we had seven plus million in the general contracting capacity and 49% of our inventory is either completed in active construction or in a pending contract. we've already got this pending contracts ready for an additional 30% of the trees in the city. >> earlier this year, we launched a public information campaign promoting street trieste asked. what it is is it is benefits and reminding property owners that now they can leave the pruning to us. prior to crews conducting tree work, in house or a contractor,
the neighbor -- the residents receive door hangers informing them of the program. when the work should be expected in their neighborhood and has contact information. the hangar has our website url when residents can learn more about the program and review our faq and reviewed the interactive pruning map. in addition, when we are actively pruning in the neighborhood, neighborhoods -- residents will see our signage next to the crews conducting work. our members have street tree s.f. brochures in their tracks. if any residents come out and have questions for the crews themselves, they can provide them with where to find more information. our street tree s.f. materials are available in multiple languages including english and spanish and chinese. we have worked closely with 311 as well to update information on the web and mobile apps and we have given briefings 2311 supervisors and customer service reps about the programs that
they are better able to answer questions from the public. we also have a presence at community events on twitter and when working with partners. >> we do have a don't prune campaign. asking residents to be patient and give us time to systematically work through the grid map. but not to prune the trees themselves unless they are opting out and working with qualified arborists. if residents don't want us to maintain their tree, they have the option to opt out and we will work with them. we want to ensure the quality of care that the program envisions. part of this program is to ensure that all street trees receive a standard of care. whether that standard is met by our cruiser property owners who want to maintain their own tree, we want to maintain the
integrity of the tree. this is a well-intentioned property owner. this is the same tree on the left and the rights. that tree ended up dying because of the excessive pruning and had to be removed. one part of the program was we were required to give an annual report to the urban forestry council, which we did in august, and a copy of which is now located on our website. so that's a summary of our achievements from last year. just a few notes on how we are hoping to move forward, in the first year, we focused on priority one pruning and removal and priority one sidewalk repair around bus stops, schools, and senior centers. in your two, we will continue priority one and two tree and
sidewalk repair, and in years three and four, will be moving into priority one and priority two pruning. until we get all of the trees. our goal is to have pruned every tree in the city by the end of year four of the program. which is a very ambitious goal given the deferred maintenance that we are dealing with, but we brought on a lot of contractors and we are stepping up in house as well. i do really want to emphasize that we cannot meet the schedule if we continue to divert resources to address individual trees that are not emergencies. while it is frustrating for property owners who now the city is responsible for trees, to wait sometimes months and sometimes even a couple of years to prune that tree. we will only get through everything and get to a consistent and regular maintenance cycle if we can stick with the efficient grid pruning that we are trying to stick with. if people have what they think
is an emergency, they should absolutely call 311 and the urban forestry inspectors go out and inspect trees. they will assess it and we will absolutely divert crews if there is an emergency situation. i also want to note that the account in the projections is higher towards the end of the program. at these maps tend to be in less dense areas of the city which are easier to prune and easier to access. many of those trees are not priority one and two. the pruning, the work that is needed is also less severe and will take less time. we think we'll be able to achieve those efficiencies. >> how much diversion is going on? >> we get a lot of requests from the public, from supervisors, and we will always go out and look at the tree and then we will assess and do our best. if we don't feel there is really a safety concern before they are scheduled to be pruned, we try
to stick to the grid pruning. we do get a lot of requests. understandably. >> and you are basically still sticking to know if you still have been able to withstand -- >> in many cases. in some cases, if the tree is really severe -- severely overgrown but we don't think there is a safety hazard but it's clearly very overgrown, we might agree to prune it. but we are trying to stick to our guidance. >> if you continue with the same -- are you on track for four years? >> we are. as long as we can toe that hard-line, we will be able to -- we should be able to. i've mentioned quite a bit about the contracts but i also want to note that we will be stuffing up internally, as well. our plan is to have 28 arborist technicians, which is more than double what we currently have.
we would have six supervisors and an arborist apprenticeship program which provides opportunities for local people to learn the skills,, which we desperately need. it has been very challenging to find qualified arborists to hire and we are behind schedule in our hiring. we only were able to hire three qualified arborists in the first round. we are about to have another citywide exam. it has been more challenging than we expected to get the right people on board. we are also going to be hiring some support staffs like labourers and truck drivers. i just want to note, prior to street tree s.f., we were down to eight dedicated arborists and we only had a budget of $1.2 million for street care and now we are projecting to be well over 30 dedicated employees as well as contracts and a $90 million budget.
as i've mentioned to, we have worked with a lot of contractors we currently have eight active companies. with 1-4 field crews each. some of our contractors have multiple crews working in different parts of the city and we have 30 contracts that are pending. even though it's taking up a little bit longer to staff up in house, we are making up for that by bringing on additional contractors and contracts. some of the opportunities of this program. as i mentioned, we have an apprenticeship program. this is an opportunity for green jobs and highlighting the industry and getting people trained. all of our contracts also require an apprenticeship portion of the contract. we have an in-house arborist program as well. in addition, their opportunities for local businesses through our contracts and we have had a really great result working with local contractors. >> what are the requirements to be part of the program?
>> to be part of the program? is only about six months of experience doing something related to trees or landscaping in order to apply for the apprenticeship program through the city. and then contractors work with organizations like city built to work with apprentices and to get apprentices if they don't have their own apprenticeship program but a couple of the contractors have their own in-house apprenticeship program as well. people can apply to them directly. >> over the course of the program, we are confident that communities can actually appreciate the benefits of greener and healthier trees. it will take us a few years to get us to the baseline. those requests for trees to be removed should drop dramatically we will have increased safety as we are inspecting trees more regularly and pruning the more
regularly. we expect emergencies to drop dramatically as well. we really have the opportunity to create a model program for tree maintenance and tree management. in san francisco, we also have a diversity of species. we have over 500 species of trees in san francisco which helps us be resilient in the face of climate, climate change, past and other diseases that could affect a tree. but there are also challenges with this program. one of our biggest challenges is because the focus was on stable maintenance funding, the program does not have any funding for planting trees. and our annual budget for planting trees is relatively small. as we are addressing deferred maintenance, we are removing far more trees than we have historically removed. at current rates, we are not keeping up with removals and
mortality, much less starting to grow the forest as we have envisioned. that is one of the biggest challenges. we would encourage any supervisors who are interested in setting up funding for tree planting, one of your colleagues has done that and ensured we can plant at least 500 trees in his district here, district 11. so that would be one way we could address this and not fall too far behind in the replanting efforts. we are committed to replacing any tree that gets removed as long as the site conditions permit and that is also a code requirement. we are absolutely committed to that but we will not be able to do it as quickly as we would like unless we get additional funding for planting. we are also looking for funds through grants. we work closely with friends of the urban forest and support their grant efforts to get funding. that is one of our biggest challenges. >> what is the cost of 500 trees >> the biggest cost for us is in
getting the tree established. i never want to give people the cost to just put a tree in the ground, because unless it is water for three years, and in san francisco we are now watering 12 months out of the year. used to estimate our costs based on watering about eight months out of the year. but with the drought that we've had, we have to water for 12 months. is about $2,000 to plant and establish a tree for three years so it's about a million dollars for 500 trees. but, i recently did the meth and that is less than ten dollars a week per tree -- i recently did the math and that is less than ten dollars a week per tree. you can sponsor watering a tree. relative to that, for the decades of growth and benefits you will get out of that. >> but supervisors did not set aside a million dollars for the trees in his district. >> no, he set aside the $500,000
for his trees in his district. and we have some funding that will be supplementing the establishment costs with. >> supervisor ronen doesn't want another supervisor getting a deal. [laughter] >> we will support anyone. he did not use it all for trees. i remember. >> we will support any supervisor who wants to set aside funding for trees in the district. we will give you all a deal. [laughter] >> good. >> as i have noted, hiring qualified staff in the labour pool has been a challenge. but we are hopeful over time that we will have a consistent source of qualified applicants. and as we have discussed, the expectations from the public, the history of deferred maintenance, both by the city and by private property owners means that we need time and we have to ask for patience as we get through the first round of printing. we are confident that once we
are able to get everything to baseline, the next rounds will go quickly and we will not be having to do so much work on individual trees and we will be on that really consistent pruning cycle. while it is both an opportunity, it is also a challenge of tree species in our urban forest. it can mean we have wildly different maintenance needs on a single block. that can be a little bit different -- difficult as we schedule where crews need to go and how they need to be officially worked through a block. >> can i ask a learning question for an established tree, how often doesn't need to be watered >> most established trees will not require supplemental water. they can survive on seasonal rain. the key to that is getting good strong roots established in the early years and that's why that is so critical that the good -- that they get good water in the early years of life. there are few species that would probably benefit from some supplemental water if we have prolonged drought.
but we try to plant climate adoptive -- adaptive drought tolerant species. generally you will not need to give supplemental water once established. so in summary, this is really a game changer for urban forestry in san francisco. funding is usually harder to secure. we have been contacted by many cities who have watched our progress in california and around the world and around the country. we were recognized with a national award, the champion of trees award by the national arbor day foundation. it was awarded to us for this program. and we view this as an opportunity to really create a model program that other cities -- we want other cities to copy us and we want to be the city
people talk about when they talk about a good urban forestry program. >> i do want to recognize, i have a few folks with me here today. jared weiner who is our contract manager is here, nancy soraya is a public information officer and john sway is implementing the program with us and is the primary author of the master plan. without them, we would not be where we are today. i'm very proud of the achievements. certainly it's a new program and there may be some bumps along the road but we have an enormous amount done over the first year and i am proud of it. we are very dedicated to making this the best possible program. thank you for your time and we are available for questions. >> i just wanted to thank you. your work is extraordinary. this is so exciting and senator weiner and i often disagreed but
not on this one. this is just the best program. it was so sorely needed for so long and i couldn't be more supportive and excited about it. thank you for your extraordinary work. >> thank you very much. >> i know, supervisor alkalis was working something on this quite likely. i think there was a san francisco version of my part in his him. [laughter] >> i want to echo great thanks. i do have a couple questions. with all of this contracting going on in these new arborists coming in and this work being done, it strikes me that there may be a quality control issue. how do you monitor quality and ensure that you are using good arborists and how do members of the public who have concerns about quality best express that?
>> that's a great question. is very important to us. the whole purpose of this program is to ensure better quality and standards of care for many of the trees. i do want to recognize that there are property owners out there who have done a wonderful job maintaining trees over the years. it is an expense that not everyone feels comfortable with. for all of our contracts, the work must be supervised by a arborists. there is a certifying body called the international society of arboriculture and in order to be a certified arborist, you have to pass a written exam at a practical exam. it establishes good baseline levels of knowledge of tree physiology, biology, proper pruning, cuts, tree care and how to care for a tree. all of contractors have to have supervised arborists who are seeing the work. in addition, we have a team of urban forestry inspectors who go
out and they do check. we have many new contracts. they are all certified arborists and they will go out and review the work that's been done by a contractor. we've been looking at a lot of the work in the early days. both to confirm the contractors are doing what they say they would do and what we are paying them to do, but also to look at the quality of care and ensure it meets our standards. for the amount of work that has been done, we have had very few issues with the contractors and in many cases, we have had people who contacted us and our staff and go out and we explain why cuts were made. i have gone and walked with some property owners myself to try and explain it. once they understand it, we will protect the tree from damage. in most cases, people have been reassured and understand why the cuts were made. we have had a couple of mistakes , that they have only been a couple. again, for a new program with
the scale that we are working on , i think it's been a pretty good achievement. >> what are your options when you find work that has been badly done? >> we have a couple of options. we have the urban forestry which allows us to sign or cite the responsible party for a damaging >> even if they're someone we have hired. we are notorious for assigning other city contractors when they damage trees during construction activities. but then there are liquidated damages built into the contracts if there was an issue. >> doesn't ever get triggered? >> so far we haven't but we are very early days. we have had a handful contracts that i have fully completed and we haven't had problems with any of those contractors. >> do you have the ability to factor in quality in future awards? >> we do. that is a wonderful and new change to the code. we contract quality of work and that can be a factor when we are looking at future hires.
>> in terms of hiring, which i understand is a challenge for departments across the city, does a city college horticulture program, is that a basis for an apprenticeship if someone does take a class there? >> yes. they are our partner and i were a program. people who are interested in becoming apprentices, this very little required background. it is considered an entry-level opportunity. and so the main thing is we need to make sure that they actually are not afraid of heights. it is one thing to be in a tall building and it is another thing to be on a moving tree limb with nothing supporting you but your ropes. >> it strikes me that as we have this citywide, not just in public works but in lots of departments hiring shortage and a captive audience with 17 -year-olds in high schools, that it makes sense to be getting folks to enrolled and set up
some pathways that involve a class of city college and six months after you graduated from high school, there is a path to an apprenticeship. >> absolutely. >> just take the class. >> yeah. one of the other pathways that we are hoping will become an established pathway is working with partners like friends of the urban forest. there are other nonprofits to give young people the opportunity to learn about structural pruning of young trees and working. that would give them the necessary few months of experience. >> great. i'm sure everybody would love to see that happen. if there's any additional support or ways we can encourage the department to pay attention to do that, i would like to support that. >> great. >> thank you for the work on the palm trees on market street.
i will not press you and other palms except to ask, what with the normal -- are the similar trimming of -- pruning of palm trees, is that part of our four your program? so when we get these four -- get through these four years, will all of the palm trees be pruned? >> yes. they are included in that count. i would say, we always talk about a 3-5 your maintenance cycle based on the species' needed. we would, in terms of the future scheduling, that would depend on how they are doing. if they are well pruned, they can sometimes go five years without being pruned again. >> it will all be evaluated if they needed it. okay. and stan in terms -- i thank you have a ton of work to do in implementing this but i think there is this next step of thinking about more.
is anticipated that in property that we should have an additional 50,000 trees beyond what we have now. i assume that the urban forest master plan has a target goal that is that additional 50,000. do we have a sense of what the cost of that? 500 trees, $1 million, but i guess i could do the meth myself but to get to that, do we have a sense of what that total would be equally. >> yeah. our ultimate goal would be if we can get into a regular schedule planting about 6,000 trees a year. that would allow us to get to that and keep up with mortality. we always will have some removals. we have more in the first couple years as we are addressing trees that probably should have been
removed or could have been removed several years ago and then we expect that annual number to stabilize. it is common to have about four% mortality and in urban forest. so based on that, if we were to plant 6,000 trees a year, we would be able to keep up with mortality and grow the urban forest by those additional 50,000. that is the goal pending available sights. it is just an estimate. that would be over a 20 year time. >> any ideas? >> well, we are looking at some creative possibilities. one of which would be telling carbon credits. there is a new urban carbon protocol and we are pursuing that. our cost -- we are not very competitive on the open market for carbon, but we hope that local businesses might want to target where their offsets go and might be willing to buy carbon credits and that will be
one way we can potentially supplementary planting cost. of course, there are grabs and then there are charitable foundations. so that's what we are looking for. my hope is to start a competition amongst supervisors and trying to get you all competing to be the greenest supervisor on the board and set aside funding for us that way. >> right. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> dan flanagan from urban forests. >> good morning, supervisors. my name is dan flanagan. i'm the executive director of friends of urban forest. i am also the chair of the urban forest council. i would like to start where you guys ended but i really shouldn't. i want to start with saying that my experience in any endeavour, be it in public policy, and private, or nonprofit, as it starts with the leadership at the top of the leadership team that you rely on. i have worked closely now for ten years with the bureau of
urban forestry. and the team that carla has put together, the city should be extraordinarily proud of. because we are literally, we did get a national award. we just came off of a national tree care conference down in l.a. last week, and we are truly , san francisco is now the standard for many things in tree maintenance. we have carla short and her team to thank you for doing that. and my phone just died. anyway. i wanted to start with that. i just want to say something else. carla did not really go into -- she did not go into too much detail, but i want to add a couple of things that are necessary. first of all, on july 1st, 2017, the city of san francisco became responsible for another -- a lot more trees. we went from 30,000 trees being managed to 125,000 trees.
i have to give supervisor yee a call out here. he said sometime in march, said you should probably get $5 million set aside right now to allow the bureau of urban forestry to start negotiating contracts start negotiating trying to hire people. no one paid attention to him. sure enough, on that date, that is only when the city could start negotiating the contracts and trying to find the people. so i think i want to reinforce the patient's that supervisors short as saying, you need patients. they couldn't hire these people right away. you can't do anything until the money is in the bank. >> so let's learn from that mistake. i also want to tell a quick story, we get a lot of phone calls when homeowners had planted a tree and it all of a sudden got pruned and they are apoplectic about it and i go out and try to talk to them and i have had one experience where i showed up and the bureau of
urban forestry person was there. it was really sad and he thank you all have to understand, people like to pick on other people. homeowners can sometimes get a little inappropriate when they start yelling about their trees and i understand that because people get connected to the tree that they planted and watched grow. i was there unable to mitigate and negotiate the situation. we took them -- we took this woman through all the cuts and realized, okay, they weren't that bad. and this person, they will probably get mad at me, they had just had a haircut and he didn't have a lot of hair to begin with i said, look at this guy. he has just had a haircut. he looks horrible. she said yes. he does look horrible. please understand, in four weeks
, he's going to look fine. so will your tree. please, and one not be for weeks it may be two years but please give us time. i just want to tell you that story. the other thing i wanted to say is that, a second. that talked about equity. let's go to -- carla covered everything. in the first year, they did not say they print 17,000 trees. she said they removed about 1900 trees. i think we have to remove another -- we have about 6500 trees that were called out to be removed in the survey. that takes time. it will take a lot of time for us to get there. the fact that they are focusing on the worst first is absolutely critical. right now, you are all responsible. you are liable for anything that happens in the streets. if you have a comprehensive plan , which she has, that mitigates the liability. plus we don't want it to happen. i think they're doing what they
have to do. let's talk about the effects of property. we have expanded the expectation of the public. i always wanted to say, we have 78.6 of the vote. we did not get 79%. 78.6% of the vote. people are interested in trees and they want our urban forest to grow. in order to do that, we lose -- if we can plant another 2,000, we can grow the forest, for the first two years, the city has cobbled together some money. we have raised money ourselves and we did not get a dime from papa e. we spent a lot of money on the campaign but we did not get a single dime. we cobbled together the money and we are trying to plant 1700 trees next year. i would hope the year after that we planted 2,000 trees.
we are going to the areas where equity is an issue. if we look at a map where the trees are in the city, it really reflects the economic reality of those neighborhoods. over the next two or three years , we are in the southeast of the city in the western part of the city, richmond and parts of richmond have low canopy. will be concentrating primarily on those areas. that is an important thing to do and like the plan that we have for the maintenance, within four years we can start moving out and planting all throughout. one of the great sadness is that i have in proper e. is we did not put enough money for planting trees and care for trees around schools. we were actually thinking of a parcel tax at that point. we were hyper aware of the cost. and when it turned into -- we had taken a pause and put some more money in for school trees. i want to move into the last part of that great conversation when you are asking how much
money do we need to continue to grow the urban forest. it is about $12 million. i am working very closely with the bureau of urban forestry and talking to major corporations. there is also not only carbon credits but a new urban forest credit that we want to give to major corporations because if we look at a street tree, he does not have a lot of carbon credit value because there are not a lot of trees. it takes a while. but the corollary benefit of an urban tree are enormous. cleaning the air, given what is going on right now, trees are one of the best to create solutions or parts of solutions to clean the air. and when it does rain, it really does sequester rainwater and protects our resources. we have -- that has been quantified. we are going to people like left and uber. and saying, hey, if you really want to invest in your city, this is a great way to do it. these are long conversations.
we are still in the process. i think the p.u.c. should be supporting trees. the p.u.c., historically, does not like trees. they think they destroy their pipes. in reality, a tree only destroys a pipe that is already broken. we are telling the people that it is already broken and we don't want to have raw sewage going into our earth. that is a bad thing. that is why we have sewers to begin with. a tree only tells us what is happening. in other cities, sacramento as an example, the main source of planting trees is mud. the equivalent of our p.u.c. that will take a while. i am talking to the p.u.c. to change their mind and i'm trying to talk to major corporations. we raised about $1 million. we are trying to expand stats because we now know that watering is a huge issue.
that is the expense. 5,000 to plant the tree and 5,000 a year. we may be able to bring those prices down but not that dramatically. i am looking at building a coalition of corporations, private and city, coming together and saying, we have the potential to be a leader in the united states. we think we are the incubator for the best practices. we also now -- we are looking very closely right after this and talking with some nonprofits , national nonprofits to help us try to find the best practices to manage it is forest in the most efficient way. it all goes back to leadership. we are incredibly lucky to have the leadership team that carla has put in place. and i want to talk with the urban forest council for a second. as head of the urban forest council, we work very closely on building the urban forest plan and also for the campaign. we are working very closely on the campaign for property.
during that time, when they were coming up with property, we said that the urban forest council wants a report every year and we want them to be accountable to us for the work they did. she gave a great presentation and we had a commendation and we have sent to the commendation for your records and we said the work that they've done in the first year is extraordinary and they deserve an enormous amount of credit. we will continue to have oversight to the work they do and i think that's a really important aspect of what we are doing. thank you so much for having this hearing and i look forward to creating some competition among you all for trying to be the greenest supervisors process district. i will be in your offices really soon and talking about that. thank you. all right.
comments? public comment? do we have any public comment? >> if there are folks who like to speak in public comment, line up on the right side of the room we might just have one. >> i have three minutes? >> you have two minutes. >> okay. good morning, supervisors. i am from liberty hill. i really support this program. but i have a story to tell. in the 1980s, neighbors on the 300 block of lexington street worked to plan street trees. now they are mature and they provide both shade and beauty. in the gaps have been filled in by residents at their own expense. i planted a flower -- a
flowering cherry tree to replace a vandalized tree. it was purposely larger than the sapling. i don't have a lifetime to watch this thing mature. i wanted it weekly and watched it grow and leave out. it was just becoming established it was just glorious. and as stan said, there are personal collection -- connections to trees that you plant and care for. last thursday, november 8th, i was horrified to suddenly see over a third of this tree lying on the street. no notification. tree cutters had descended them as tree lined blocks and now all of the draped limbs that provide shade and beauty are gone and sidewalk clearance starts about 9-10 feet above the payment -- pavement. the larger trees have a natural shape. my neighbor's tree looks like a lollipop but there is still some limbs that are entangled in the wires. i guess the person