I hope you will not encourage others to save this tree based on the simple ideology that trees are good and should be saved. Judgement should come from weighing all the issues. Many needs and values go into the equation that determines if this tree removal is justified, and my conclusion is the removal is justified. This opinion comes from someone who values trees more than most and who has fought hard battles to save trees in Sebastopol, often a lonesome battle. And, who has cared for and planted more trees than you can imagine.
I wanted to include a condition for approving the application, to which both the Tree Board and the applicant were not responsive. I would not mind support to include this condition if the tree is to go. It was to include a major section of the trunk into the adjacent landscaping. The following to Barney Aldridge and ZAC, the landscape architect, are from an exchange to let them know I would make this request.
"The Barlow was sold in part as preserving or reflecting the historic nature of the site. As it has turned out little of the original character has been retained in this project. Four possible historic aspects of this project that could have been incorporated come to mind. This is a last chance. This prominently located tree is the biggest non Redwood in Sebastopol and now it will be going too. Please come up with a worthy place for it."
"The tendency on things like this tree is to cut it down, hall it off, grind out the stump, and make the place like it was never there. It is an old and stately fixture in this town worthy of a little honor in its passing. Making it fit into the landscape, posting a picture next to it, telling a little story about it on a plaque and asking people to count the rings to tell how long it stood. This kind of thing acknowledges the tree, the past and adds character to a site. It does not take money so much as thought."