Ill oak tree set for removal at Danville park

Town: Safety concerns prompt decision, part of play area to close during work

Crews on Monday will begin removing an unhealthy tree that poses safety concerns at Hap Magee Ranch Park, resulting in a partial closure at the northern Danville park this week, according to town officials.

The valley oak, which is on the list of trees protected under town ordinance, is so ill and unhealthy overall that leaving it in place would be unsafe, prompting the town to acquire a permit to remove the entire tree, town officials said.

"Our arborist has said that the valley oak's health has deteriorated to the point where it is becoming a safety issue to leave it standing," Jed Johnson, town maintenance services director, said in a statement. "The proximity to the play area was an additional factor in getting the removal done in a short time-frame."

Cleary Brothers crews will start the tree-removal work Monday at the park located at 1025 La Gonda Way, and the process is expected to last five days, according to town officials.

A section of the park's play area, north of the Swain House, will be closed for safety reasons during the removal work. The work zone will be cordoned off, and a crane is required for part of the project, town officials said.

The majority of the play area will remain open, but park users should stay away from the project zone, they added.

There are no plans to replant another tree at that location after the ill valley oak is removed, town public information coordinator Geoff Gillette said.

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