Non native flora can be good. No need to dance around the name calling them “Blue Gum” or what ever. Always green and fragrant.
It used to be that planting nonnative plants or trees in Pacific Grove — and elsewhere in California — was considered an environmental taboo.
But there’s a new respect in Pacific Grove for eucalyptus, a towering nonnative tree that often gets a bad rap in the state for shedding bark, competing with native plants and not supporting native animal species.
In Pacific Grove, however, the monarch butterflies that overwinter in the city every
year are the eucalyptus’ biggest fan. For the last century or so, the insects have preferred clustering in eucalyptus beginning in the fall until late February, when they leave. The dense, nonnative trees provide wind shelter for the insect.
More Love For Eucalyptus Trees
Not enough room on the lot for a P.G. Remodel?
A historic building that was once part of a military school in Pacific Grove has been tagged for demolition.
Brokaw Hall is “in a dilapidated condition and is now considered unsafe and a danger to the public,” said city building official John Kuehl. The building is at 363 Grove Acre Ave.
After a March 21 inspection, Kuehl issued an order requiring that the property be fenced off immediately and demolished by April 29.
Broken Brokaw Hall May Be Demolished
Bob Pacelli’s tree project appears to be a smart thing to do.
Among his recommendations for the sanctuary are placing eucalyptus trees for more wind shelter and “habitat complexity,” trimming hazardous trees, planting more oak trees and assessing older trees and pitch canker risks of Monterey pines on the property.
Even though they are native to Australia and have nothing to do with the monarch’s historic habitat, Weiss said it was critical for the city to plant new blue gum eucalyptus trees along the southern row of the grove — and he said it should be done in February and March after the monarchs leave.
Plant More Eucalyptus!
It looks a lot like the average motel in P.G. If it gets saved, you think they can get a alcohol permit and use it for receptions? How about a pub? The Orange & Black Pub. They can have butterfly tables.
Brokaw Hall was designated historic in 1996 after homeowners passed a bond measure to buy it and the property it sits on. Taxpayers are still paying for the purchase. Since then, however, the duplex, which lies within the Monarch Grove Sanctuary, has seen little or no maintenance and is crumbling.
City budget director Jim Becklenberg said the city would take action if it finds the building poses a hazard to the public. “We are trying to evaluate what the best use is for the building and how it can enhance the visitors’ experience there,” said Becklenberg, adding that there are no current plans to tear it down.
Brokaw Hall Broken
“A lot of urban development has destroyed suitable habitat,” said Stuart Weiss of Menlo Park, a conservation biologist with Creekside Center for Earth Observation.
“Monarchs are very finicky about where they make their clusters,” Weiss said. They need the right temperature, humidity and wind exposure; otherwise, they move on to a more suitable area. The forests that monarchs like to cluster in are so small now, “the loss of a few trees can open up a site to more wind,” he said.
Weiss is working with Pacific Grove on a management plan for the sanctuary so it can better deal with the loss of trees or other changes in the grove.
“Urban Development?” Nothing but clueless people put in charge here.
Butterflies Coming Back
The Weakly has a story about the efforts to import some trees for this coming winter’s butterfly migration.
Heavy pruning of the sanctuary’s eucalyptus trees a year ago may have been responsible for the estimated 96 percent drop in the monarch population there last overwintering season – although, according to butterfly experts, the population simultaneously fell about 90 percent throughout the Central Coast.
Funny is the comment from M. Butterflies:
Monarch Butterflies are known to be very conservative Republicans who believe in the rule of law, individualism, and private property. Most Monarch’s have changed their migration patterns to avoid over-taxed nanny states like California.
This attempt to set up overpriced Government subsidized housing is going to be considered a serious insult to a vast majority of Monarch’s, who are all ready counter-protesting Monterey Counties boycott of Arizona.
Letters From The Editor – Monarch Citizen Movement
Story reached the L.A. Times
Monarch fans are pitching in to bring more trees to the the butterfly trees. Send your donation to the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce, marked “Monarch Habitat Trees.” PO BOX 167, Pacific Grove 93950, 584 Central Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
No trees, no butterflies. Guess this will have to do:
At a City Council meeting last week, Mayor Carmelita Garcia apologized for the city’s mismanagement of the tree cutting, calling it “a horrible mistake.” In the audience, people who had come to hear about emergency sanctuary repair wore toy butterfly antennae that bobbed up and down as the mayor spoke.
With the first monarchs due in about a month, volunteers have been scrambling for potted trees that can serve as makeshift butterfly shelter throughout the 2 1/2-acre sanctuary. “We’re hoping and praying,” said Moe Ammar, president of the Chamber of Commerce that serves the picturesque, sometimes fogbound town of Victorian homes.
“People who follow the monarchs come from all over the world,” Ammar said. “When we get calls asking if the butterflies have arrived, we have to be honest.”
Mayor Admits Butterfly Tree Cutting Was Wrong
When the butterflies don’t have a trolley or signs guiding them from the beach to 17 Mile drive, someone steps in to help.
To help boost butterfly numbers this year, Pacelli and other P.G. residents and butterfly enthusiasts are buying boxed trees to temporarily fill the gaps and provide wind breaks.
One tree is already placed, but the group aims to add about 20 more by the end of September, in time for the monarchs’ October arrival. They ask supporters to send donations with a note marked “Monarch Habitat Trees” to: P.G. Chamber of Commerce, 584 Central Ave., Pacific Grove, CA 93950.
Monarchs Don’t Spend Money In P.G.,How Do We Attract Them?
A thinning canopy of trees may be a factor in the reduced numbers of monarch butterflies visiting the Pacific Grove sanctuary, two scientists told the City Council last week.
The council voted unanimously to direct City Manager Thomas Frutchey to convene a meeting of interested parties on the butterfly issue, engage Weiss to update and expand the sanctuary management plan, and direct the city’s Natural Resources Commission to oversee the plan update. No meeting date has been set.
With our city on the job, the best they can come up with is spending about $80,000 on a shuttle bus to bring butterflies over from Santa Cruz.
Tree Cutting Could Have Caused Monarch Decline