Rooting for the trees
Trinidad resident Stan Binnie notes some contradictions between Cal-Trans and science when it comes to the Richardson Grove highway project in Saturday’s Times-Standard:
In Richardson Grove State Park, just feet from where the road project is proposed, there are signs that say: “AREA CLOSED TO PROTECT ROOTS.” And another nearby sign says: “Ironically, one of the greatest threats to a redwood’s longevity comes from well-intentioned humans. Continuous foot traffic compacts the soil around a tree, damaging its network of fine surface roots and restricts their intake of water and nutrients. For this reason, visitors are asked to stay on designated paths.” How is it that there is concern about foot traffic damaging the roots of ancient redwoods but there seems to be little concern over heavy equipment crushing their roots or the fact that the project will require the cutting, filling and compacting of soil over their delicate root systems.
Binnie also quotes HSU’s redwood expert Steve Sillit:
“I have studied redwoods for many years, and my repeated observations of large redwoods near construction sites have convinced me that cutting large roots is a BAD IDEA if maintaining tree health and vigor is a goal.”