The residents of Pleasanton had to contend with a loss this week — the historic eucalyptus tree situated in the city’s Lions Wayside Park. While no one wanted to down the massive icon, which was believed to be about 150 years old, test results confirming the presence of an incurable disease offered no other option. It was losing one-ton branches that could have killed someone.
Many of us remember playing in its shade or attempting to climb its enormous trunk during Concerts in the Park. We’ve wondered what the tree witnessed in the city during its lifetime. Kudos to the city for recognizing the community’s love of the giant eucalyptus and making plans to honor it in the form of memorial benches at Alviso Adobe Community Park.
Many woodworkers and craftsmen and women in the area have asked for a piece of the tree to make their own memorials. While the city has a policy not to give salvaged parts of city-owned property to the community, in this case, it should find a way to make that possible. People aren’t asking for scrap metal from a demolished building. They’re asking for wood from a tree, which is large enough for residents from the entire town to have a piece — a piece of our city’s history and, for many of us, our childhoods. Give us the chance to make at least portions of it beautiful again.