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Indybay Feature
City Allows Hyatt to Cut Down 110-Year-Old Heritage Tree
by Bradley Allen (bradley [at]
Monday May 5th, 2014 2:47 PM
The healthy 110-year-old tree near the sidewalk at 407 Broadway in Santa Cruz is a Red Horse Chestnut, and slated to be cut down for a Hyatt Place Hotel.
The healthy 110-year-old tree close to the sidewalk at 407 Broadway in Santa Cruz is a Red Horse Chestnut (Aesculus carnea). Wayne Ferrebee, an artist and writer who currently lives in Brooklyn, explains that “the red horse chestnut tree is not a chestnut tree at all; it’s a cultivar between Aesculus hippocastanum, the common horse chestnut tree of Europe, and Aesculus pavia, the red buckeye of the American south.”

It is a designated Heritage Tree in the city of Santa Cruz, and featured on the city’s heritage tree brochure which was distributed by Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation on April 19, 2014 to commemorate Earth Day in San Lorenzo Park. Gillian Greensite of Save Our Big Trees states that it is the oldest of only three red horse chestnut trees in the city.

The Planning Commission and Santa Cruz City Council have given the Hyatt Corporation a green light to cut the tree down and build a four-story Hyatt Place Hotel.

Gillian Greensite asked Bruce Bratton to help spread the news and publish her call to action for saving the tree:

Here’s the contact information for Global Head of Hyatt Real Estate.
Chris Dobbins, Vice President of Development, (480) 308 2915

For more coverage and information, check out:

What do you think? Should the 110-year-old tree be protected?

§Red Horse Chestnut (Aesculus carnea)
by Bradley Allen Monday May 5th, 2014 2:47 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by JBK
Thursday May 22nd, 2014 9:57 PM
...i don't know about such things....if the tree hasn't already been taken down, with some legwork and funds is it possible to move the tree to another place?? i think everyone would win if that could be arranged...thank you.
by Brent Adams
(compassionman [at] Thursday May 29th, 2014 12:57 PM
The eventuality of this tree's removal is very important to me. I worked across the street from this tree for 3 years.
I would like to capture video of the complete removal process of this tree.
Please contact me if you have some info about it.
by Pat Colby
Thursday Jun 5th, 2014 12:14 AM
The tree is so close to the side walk. Why is can't be saved and worked around is a crime! Of course with our city—money rules.

Also Broadway is a really bad location for a hotel. The traffic is already impacted and the hotel will only make a bigger mess. In addition it is not fair to the local residents to bring more traffic and noise to that already loud and seedy neighborhood.

What was the planning commission thinking? Oh wait they probably are weighted down with payoff money in their pockets. SHAME on them. Let's demand a removal of them all from the commission instead of the the Red Chestnut tree. Start with Mari Tustin corrupt VP of the John Stewart Company, a property management company in Scotts Valley!!!
[ Screenshot on May 13, 2015: "Search Results" for "tree" on the City of Santa Cruz website. ]

On May 13, 2015, I was searching online for information on the "Heritage Tree Ordinance" in Santa Cruz. I was surprised to find that the information has been removed from the city's website:

Previously, the City of Santa Cruz had "Tree Programs" pages on their website, including:

City of Santa Cruz : Tree Programs

City of Santa Cruz : Heritage Tree Ordinance

Now the result is:

Page Not Found...

The page you are looking for,,
may have been removed, renamed, entered wrong, or is temporarily unavailable.

Same result for:

The municipal code itself is still published at:

Santa Cruz Municipal Code

Chapter 9.56

Why did the City of Santa Cruz remove information about the Heritage Tree Ordinance from the city website: ??

The City of Santa Cruz has a printed pamphlet called "City of Santa Cruz Heritage Trees." It sure would be nice if the information in that pamphlet was available on the city's website.

The pamphlet includes information and people to contact concerning the Heritage Tree program. The rest of the brochure contains, "Significant Santa Cruz Heritage trees listed by common name, date designated as a heritage tree, latin name, and location."
by Bradley Allen
Thursday May 14th, 2015 2:35 PM
Today, May 14, 2015, I spoke with Leslie who works as the Urban Forester for the City of Santa Cruz. She was very kind, receptive and knowledgable, as well as the creator of the pamphlet.

She was not aware of the broken links on the city website, thanked me, and said she would speak with people who can address the issue. Leslie said that in fifteen years, I am the first person to call and bring attention to mistakes or outdated information.

The pamphlet was made many years ago, and while still a valuable resource, has become a bit outdated. Leslie said she would work to update the pamphlet, and I agreed to contribute photos, as well as suggestions for additional heritage trees and shrubs.

It was a pleasure speaking with Leslie. It seems that the City of Santa Cruz is fortunate to have her contributions.
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