LTWCA Newsletter - April/May 2002
Spring Has Sprung Upon Us
The spring weather not only has brought us out of our houses, but also has brought out multiple wildflower blooms. We are visually graced with the purples of shooting stars and lupines, the white of Death Camas, the deep maroon of Trilliums, and the brilliant green spring growth of our trees.
How do we protect and care for our natural treasures? As the adage goes: Take only pictures, leave only footprints. Picking wildflowers greatly diminishes the wild seed stock that is needed each year for next yearŐs crop. Digging up the plants reduces their abundance, removes them from their natural habitat, and the transplant success rate is about 1 in 10. (Yerba Buena Nursery, 851-1668, 19500 Skyline Blvd. near Windy Hill, is a great source for native plants and information.) Stay on the trails while you marvel at the plethora of wildflowers. Our native trees get smothered under the burden of ivy climbing their trunks. Be sure to cut the ivy back now from the tree trunks and once more in the summer.
Our District Representatives have done a fabulous job of personally contacting each household to disseminate the updated emergency information and collect dues and emergency funds. A GIANT thank you goes to everyone who made this one of the most successful house-to-house campaigns we have done. Nelson Dake gets the special award for Most Households Visited.
Zoning Committee News
The Zoning Committee met on March 12 and is drafting a preliminary zoning proposal for community review this spring. There will be meetings with the community to gather consensus, and then a new zoning proposal will be issued for polling late this summer. If consensus is confirmed, the zoning proposal will be forwarded to San Mateo County in the fall for their lengthy approval process. The next meeting will be held on April 23. For questions and information, please call Armin Staprans at 851-7403.
Submitted by Armin Staprans
Board Members and Emergency Cluster Leaders keep 27 April open. There will be an Emergency Training. Set aside the date now. Carol Wagner (851-8675) or Linda Drey-Nightingale (851-1787) has the detailed information.
Submitted by Carol Wagner
The sewer group continues to work on financing and with governmental agencies whose wheels turn slowly.
Submitted by Julie Duncan
District II News
Our oldest Woods resident, Duke, is receiving tender care and good physical therapy at the VeteranŐs Hospital. He would appreciate any notes or cards. Send them to: VeteranŐs Hospital, 705 Willow Rd., Rm. 150, Menlo Park, 94025, Attention: Duke Eisenberg
Submitted by Nelson Dake
District III News
Coyotes are showing up regularly, so be aware of where your cats are. There has also been a case of cat heartworm in the area. (Coyotes carry heartworm and can pass it on.)
Submitted by Carol Wagner
District IV News
Our intrepid Marguerite Thayer had a bad fall on 28 February and was rushed to the hospital with a broken arm, bruises, and some cracked ribs. She is now home and is recovering slowly but nicely. Marguerite was quite impressed by not 1, not 2, but 7 firefighters who came to her rescue. Our best wishes to you, Marguerite, on your recovery.
Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale
Town of Portola Valley Activities
- Town Council Meetings are being held on Wednesdays, 24 April, 8 & 22 May, at 8 p.m. in the Historic Schoolhouse.
- Planning Commission Meetings are being held on Wednesdays, 17 April, 1 & 15 May, at 8 p.m. in the Historic Schoolhouse.
Next Board Meeting - 1 May, 7:00 p.m., at 1074 Los Trancos Rd. For minutes of the last meeting, please see the LTWCA Web Site or your District Representative.
Los Trancos Woods (LTWCA) Web Site
The web site address is: The group e-mail list is:
Our sincere thanks to Jerry Jensen for maintaining this site.
Kudos to Alex Kostrikin for graciously copying our newsletters in a timely fashion.
Sudden Oak Death Syndrome
ŇAs you know Sudden Oak Death is now a serious problem in the Bay Area. It is affecting large populations of Coast Live Oak as well as other species of oaks. It is thought that Sudden Oak Death is due to a fungus which invades the tree. This fungus attracts the Ambrosia Beetle which bores into the tree and causes it to die suddenly. Now the disease is spreading to the redwoods. There has been no cure. Pesticides have been used to kill the beetles but they don't solve the problem or save the trees.Ó Editors note: So far SOD has not been found in the Woods according to McClenahan Tree Service, but it could appear here in the future. More information on prevention will be in the next newsletters.
Excerpts from Cindy RussellŐs e-mail
As you know Sudden Oak Death is now a serious problem in the Bay
Area. It is affecting large populations of Coast Live Oak as well as
other species of oaks. It is thought that Sudden Oak Death is due to
a fungus which invades the tree. This fungus attracts the Ambrosia
Beetle which bores into the tree and causes it to die suddenly. Now
the disease is spreading to the redwoods. There has been no cure.
Pesticides have been used to kill the beetles but they don't solve
the problem or save the trees.
Ralph Zingaro, a Cornell trained plant pathologist and
horticulturist, will give another perspective on the problem. His
research shows that the root cause is nutritional not the fungus. He
feels that the acid rain and fog from air pollution is leaching out
valuable nutrients from the tree thus causing, not a sudden, but a
slow decline in the health of the tree. The tree then becomes
susceptible to the fungus. Beetles which come in to feed on the
fungus then become the tertiary problem.
This is similar to a scenario seen on the East Coast 25 to 30 years
ago where the Dogwood tree decline was ultimately traced directly to
acid rain after the Forest Service for ten years stated it was due to
a fungus. It is well known that air pollution and acid rain has
caused the forests in Germany to die and is causing the Parthenon in
Athens, Greece to slowly disintegrate.
Mr Zingaro will show photographs of Sudden Oak Death and how to
identify it. He will then discuss the
underlying causes and how to treat the tree nutritionally. In general
he recommends fertilizing your trees well to replace the leached out
minerals. For more information you can visit his website at
Note: A resident in larkspur I spoke with used Mr. Zingaro's
nutritional advice 2 years ago on 2 trees with sudden oak death. Now
they are the healthiest of the 40 trees on her property and are
resisting the aphid infestation that has hit her other trees. The
leaves of her coast live oak came back green and the weeping from the
bark has disappeared. I can give you her number if you want to speak
to her. You may forward this message as you wish.
For more in formation you can call Acterra at 650-962-9876 and ask to
speak with Velma