More Trees Being Cut Down in Sutro Forest

Posted on February 24, 2022 by SF Forest Alliance (

This article has been republished from with permission and updates.

“Can you tell me what’s happening on the north side of the forest? I’ve been watching them cut down a swath from a lunchroom at UCSF the last few days,” said an email to us a day ago.

Yes. It’s a continuation of the “Vegetation Management Plan” that we have been trying to oppose for over a decade, and which will result in an estimated 10,000 trees being cut down. Coincidentally, this recent action is close to the planned new (rebuilt) hospital at Parnassus.

It looks like they’re clearing for a road,” said a shocked follow-up email. Then we received this photograph, taken from the hospital. “A week ago you couldn’t see the houses up top. Men chainsaw the trees and the machine in the upper right clears the land. You have my permission to republish this as you see fit.”

This is what the forest looked like, back before they started the massive tree removals.

Group of people walking a trail through beautiful dense Sutro Forest in 2007

Mt Sutro Forest in 2007


UCSF recently sent out a notice that we reprint here for information to anyone who might not have seen it:

Tree Removal Along Medical Center Way

Starting February 15th through mid-March, there will be active tree work along Medical Center Way near Edgewood Avenue and Farnsworth Lane due to upcoming tree removal as prescribed in the Vegetation Management Plan.

To ensure the safety of tree workers, neighbors, staff, and visitors there will be no access to the Reserve via Farnsworth Lane and Edgewood Avenue. Chain-link fencing will be placed along the property line up to the Surge Parking Lot, and Medical Center Way will be closed.

Potential Impacts:
Intermittent loud noises from tree felling and wood chipping.
A crane will be placed in the Surge Parking Lot to assist with the tree removal.
Work will occur within normal business hours. No weekend work is anticipated at this time.

Please obey all instructions from tree workers and signage by not entering the work area.

See below for a map detailing the area. The blue rectangle outlines the approximate area of tree work, and the orange line shows where fencing will be placed as a safety precaution.

We apologize for any inconvenience this work may cause, and we appreciate your patience.


Meanwhile, aside from the loss of the trees, the “removal” is also taking place just as the nesting season is under way.  Wildcare, the not-for-profit that rehabilitates wild birds and animals – including a lot of babies – sent out a message: “RESPECT THE NEST! BABY HUMMINGBIRDS ARE HERE!

They tell us that apparently abandoned hummingbird nests are not actually abandoned, but that human activity close by may discourage feeding. And the also point out:

Don’t panic, those baby hummingbirds are most likely not orphaned, but their presence DOES mean it is no longer safe to prune or trim trees, bushes or shrubs! Wildlife Baby Season has begun!”

We don’t suppose UCSF is listening, since their plans for tree felling run through mid-March. Even though we know that hummingbirds nest in Sutro Forest.

Two tiny hummingbird nests collected from Sutro Forest after the nesting season

Hummingbird nests collected in Sutro Forest after the nesting season

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