Eucalyptus trees burn brightly

Large eucalyptus trees lined Arastradero Road until a 1985 fire.

Large eucalyptus trees lined Arastradero Road until a 1985 fire.


Thanks to the Australian gold miners in the 1850s, we have eucalyptus trees in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some residents of Los Altos Hills and Oakland may take a dim view of these highly flammable trees.

When they catch fire they act as an accelerant. In 1985 a stand of giant eucalyptus lining Arastradero Road were engulfed in flames from a grass fire. Nine homes burned on Liddicoat Lane.

After the fire, the trees were cut down. They might have recovered, but would you want eucalyptus trees in your back yard?

Over the years in Portola Valley and elsewhere large eucalyptus are gradually being removed.

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the trees back in the 80s, although there are still quite a few on Portola Road cutoff. Even these are disappearing though.

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3 Responses to “Eucalyptus trees burn brightly”

  1. ted pauly Says:

    Some nice old Eucalyptus trees on Stage Road, just a little south of Pescadero, you know, that beatiful stand of trees that lines the road as you approach the funky old farm with the funny iron/steel statues/dispalys. Those are some pretty old trees, and since they are so close to the shore, they are less likely to ever burn.

  2. Barry Chaffin Says:

    In addition to the fire hazard aspect, the Eucalyptus trees where I live have grown to block views of the bay and valley. I would love to have all the non native trees removed.

  3. jkeehan Says:

    I remember that ’85 fire because the police prevented me from riding my bike on Arastradero that day. I believe that the monster homes on Arastradero near Page Mill were built shortly thereafter.

    The eucalyptus trees on Stage do smell nice–I’ll give them that.

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