Monday marked the beginning of the removal of 30 eucalyptus trees that could pose a threat to public safety along Saratoga Creek, according to Saratoga city officials and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
Between Cox Avenue and Prospect Road, several trees' health have gone down because of a multi-year drought as well as the presence of wood-boring insects and fungi in the grove, certified arborists have told the agencies.
Those arborists authorized the water district to remove the trees in order to avoid them becoming a hazard to adjacent properties and PG&E lines.
Ten trees have previously been removed from the area. The elimination of other impacted trees will continue this fall and extend through 2020, according to the agencies.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a permit authorizing the water district to remove the trees during a three-week period. The removals will be followed by improvements to the stream bank in the area, as well as implementation of erosion control measures.
During the three-week timetable, the water district will remove any potential fire hazards such as a thick existing blanket of accumulated bark, twigs and leaves.
Once all affected trees are removed, the water district will plant and maintain native vegetation that can adapt to the drought conditions, monitor the plants and continue replacing weeds with plants over the next several years, according to the agencies.
The project is one of the maintenance efforts that the water district will take on this year as part of its Integrated Vegetation Program, a program that helps protect streams by removing plants that are "invasive, diseased or damaged."