Menlo Park 91-year-old woman wins to keep redwood

MENLO PARK, Calif (KGO) -- On this Earth Day, there was a victory for a Bay Area woman who just wasn't willing to see two historic redwood trees cut down. She and some of her fellow Menlo Park residents put up one heck of a fight.

The day started off uncertain for neighbors fighting to keep those trees, but the night ended victorious. After commissioners unanimously voted that the trees were too precious to cut down, even if they may be a hazard.

Older than the homes, or the people who live in them, there are 90-foot redwood trees that stand tall on Hermosa Way.

A new neighbor wants to remove them over safety concerns and the neighbor argues it is all part of her renovation plans.

A city arborist found the trees are healthy, however haphazard pruning in the past makes them a liability.

Neighbors say cutting them down is not the answer. Resident Mary Ann Robbiano said, "We got to save the trees, we love the trees."

Robbiano, who is 91 years old, filed an appeal to save the trees. She spoke at Wednesday night's hearing revealing the developers and homeowner went as far as to bribe her. She told the commission, "Anyone that thinks they can get away with putting a tree in city of Menlo, in my honor to be remove those trees, I'm sorry can't do that."

The homeowner defended her decision saying she was not there to destroy the neighborhood.

In the end, commissioners took into account the trees stability, but they said alternatives will be found to reinforce them and the trees will remain.

"I'm relieved and I just hope it continues this way. I love my neighbors," Robbiano said.

Neighbors who rallied behind Robbiano are ecstatic the trees are spared and on Earth Day, no less. Commissioners said the trees will continue to be monitored.
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