SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—San Francisco’s revised $6.8 billion budget now includes a little more money for tree preservation. But it won’t be enough to prevent the City from turning the maintenance of more trees on city sidewalks to private property owners in the future.

Last month residents came to a board of supervisors meeting with complaints about a plan by the Department of Public Works (DPW) to put responsibility for maintaining street trees on private property owners.

One resident protested the motion calling it “pennywise and pound foolish” and that property owners wouldn’t take care of the trees.

Another objector called the proposal “tragic” and that it was move in the wrong direction.

DPW Director Ed Reiskin argued that two-thirds of street trees are already privately maintained so why not go ahead and include all? Reiskin claimed it would be the responsible thing to do.

“What we’re proposing is not really a radical shift in responsibility for the city’s urban forest,” said Reiskin.

This year $600,000 of funding for city tree maintenance was cut from the budget. But this week supervisor Scott Weiner was able to re-secure half of that money.

“I am proud that we were able to add back half of the DPW tree cut and I want to think my colleagues for supporting that,” said Weiner.

Still that’s not nearly enough to pay for all the street trees that need attention, nor has it derailed the plan to turn the maintenance work over to private property owners.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (9)
  1. oldfart says:

    another example of passing the buck to the property owners in order to pay for the DPW and other departments to keep paying for their social services, civil entitlements, and pensions. The stupidvisors need to cut the fat and get down to realistic budget.

  2. jeanette says:

    Get over it everyone in sanfrancisco do not complain about maintaining their 3 plus cars they stack on their house blocking every chance of an easy escape in a fire oh one second it could never happen to me guess what cars are more trouble so quiet please

  3. SunsetRez says:

    The DPW doesn’t take care of the trees it’s already responsible for. I don’t know where the money that’s budgeted for that goes, but it’s not happening. And then Friend of the Urban Forest come along and want property owners to plant trees that will eventually grow roots big enough to push up the sidewalk, which the property owner will have to replace – and continue replacing over the years.

    I’d love to know which trees the DPW has actually done real work on. Around here, they wait for the branches to snap off in the wind and weeks later they’ll show up with a wood chipper. They’re a joke.

    1. Ernesto Lezcano says:


  4. fred thompson says:

    If the trees are on a PUBLIC sidewalk, they should be maintained by PUBLIC dollars.
    Unfortunately, SF DPW ( among other public entities) doesn’t seem to understand that concept. Once again.. a classic “only in SF moment” and not in a good. way.
    Public tax $ are only going to fund the pensions and bloated health ins industry.

    1. sf resident says:

      Spend less time smoking pot and more time working around your pig pen you live in it will keep you out of trouble

  5. Art Huse says:

    SFers complalin so much. Here in San Jose we’ve had responsibility for trees for several years. And we have FAR MORE trees than any city residence has. Accept it!

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