Saving the 5 Melaleuca Trees of Redding

It was that time of the month, sometime in September 2012; my Toyota became due for its every 3,000-mile oil change.  As I turned off the East Cypress Avenue and into the parking lot to check in with the mechanic, I saw, on a thin wooden stake, a small white piece of paper with words in bold: NOTICE TO PUBLIC.

Well, for some strange reason I decided to pull alongside this poster and read the fine print.  It was a notice from the City of Redding and the Planning Department that the frontage street that parallels Cypress Avenue was going to be re-aligned and citizen input would take place at Redding City Hall.  After the oil change, I called the Planning Department and spoke to the project manager, Mr. Doug DeMallie.

I particularly asked him about the five melaleuca trees at the West and East end of the frontage street.  He stated that the engineers from the City of Redding and Lithia Motors’ plans would likely remove one of the melaleucas at the West end to accommodate the new sidewalk and bicycle lane. He further stated that the two trees at the ast end of the project would not be removed.  I noted that, “Redding is a  ‘Tree City USA’. Can’t the engineers take another look at the plans, re-align them, and save the three clustered melaleucas?”

I said I would continue talking with him to find a resolve.  As well, I had called or emailed all the city council members to plead for the trees’ retention when it came before them during public comment.

A week later I called Mr. DeMallie and asked how the project was coming, plans still in progress he said. I said I’d continue to call for an update.  Before hanging up, half-jokingly, I said, if necessary, I would round-up 10 local tree-huggers to chain themselves to the Malaluecas in order to bring attention to saving the trees so Redding can continue to be listed as Tree City USA.  He called recently and said the engineer would need to remove two trees after all.  I called the city manager, he gave me the name of the engineer at OmniMeans.  The engineer confirmed two trees would be removed. But, a slight twist came about in that if an organization would pay for a cement retaining wall around the trees, they could be saved. That’s in progress, if Lithia agrees to it.

I then typed up a petition to Save the Melalueca Trees of Redding and sent it out to my rather large email list, asking friends to gather signatures and mail it to Mr. DeMallie.  It’s my contention that the three trees at the west end of the frontage road (Hemsted & Cypress) are interconnected root-wise, as are the two at the east end.

They’ve been in this location for at least 25 years.  An arborist estimates them to be 40-60 years old, and have a valuation of $20-40,000 each, and provides an inestimable amount of oxygen to the area. They’re likely the only Melalueca trees in the north state. They’re native to Australia, evergreen and once a year provide a light pink bloom.  Extracts of the tree are used for medicinal purposes, hair products and pest control.

I haven’t read the City of Redding Tree Ordinance lately, but I do believe they are within the parameters of the code. If you are tired of seeing large adult trees of Redding being removed, especially when engineers can do a re-alignment to save them, then consider sending a message to these key persons: Mark DeBoer, Lithia of Medford, 150 N.Bartlett, Medford OR 97501, 541.776.6401.  Mr. DeMallie-Project Director, 530.225.4028. e:  and urge them to direct the engineer at OmniMeans to adjust the plans to accommodate the five melaleucas.

Thank You. Sincerely, Frank Treadway, Save The Trees of Redding:

Frank Treadway lives in Redding. He has an AA in Psychology, BA in Sociology and MS in School Counseling. As a VISTA worker for  two years in Redding, he helped relocate hundreds of homeless people from motels to their own domiciles. Frank is a veteran of six years in the California National Guard, and has traveled to more than 30 countries. Following in the interests of his distant relative, John Muir, Frank is passionate about the protection and retention of all trees, but especially of those in Redding and Shasta County.

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35 Responses

  1. RMV says:

    Oh, let them cut them down! 🙁 🙁

    Look how lovely our Hilltop Drive is, with it's Beautiful YELLOW GREEN Palm Trees. 🙁

    Our city officials Always have only good in mind for Our Northstate?

    I love the answer (cement wall), just what Our city needs? By the people for the people??

    Thank You Frank for caring about "TREE CITY, USA", and OUR Northstate!! 🙂

  2. Hollis Pickett says:

    I love those trees! Warming up the ol' pen (and keyboard)………

  3. mike mathews says:

    How about moving Lithia instead!!

  4. LEELEE says:

    I will go out on a limb here and say, are not the TREES one of the alluring factors that drove all them city folk into this beautiful city?

    Go Home and pick on someone your own size, LEAVE THE TREES ALONE!

  5. Jenni Middleton says:

    Just sealed and stamped my letter to Mark DeBoer at Lithia….the trees are worth fighting for.

  6. `AJacoby `AJacoby says:

    THANK HEAVEN FOR FOLK WHO CARE!!!! I love the feisty North State folk!!!! My keyboard is going to work right now.

  7. Debra says:

    Just looking at the photos provided…. I realized what must be motivating BIG BIZ (Lithia) … "You can't see the trucks..for the trees!" I cannot tell you how many times, while sitting at the signal at Cypress & Hemstead, I have been mesmerized by those lovely, fluffy trees! I have wondered so many times, "My goodness what are those beautiful trees?" How in the world could any heartless developer come along and remove something so gorgeous? I am appalled! If this devastation goes through, I think Shasta County citizens should feel quite justified in a 100% boycot of Lithia Motors for taking something of our history (60 years old!!) away from us! Thank you Mr. Treadway for bringing this to light! I plan to join in the fight to prevent this injustice! Debra M. Zemke, Shasta County born & raised!

  8. Lithia tried to move…remember the proposed auto mall in Churn Creek bottom? Sorry, tongue in cheek…you go, Fwank!

  9. Debra says:

    I just sealed the envelope holding my letter of protest directed to Mike DeBoer, please people, join in this fight to force these developers to re-evaluate how to handle these beautiful trees! Seriously, what will our city look like 40 yrs. from now if this kind of thing continues? If enough voices shout out–we may be heard! Thank you for caring enough to do something that only takes a little bit of your time, a piece of paper, an envelope, and an ever-rising postage stamp! 🙂

  10. Magnolia Neighborhoo says:

    Removing any sizeable tree in our fair city of triple-digit summer temperatures is madness!

    Value the shade and the beauty. The City of Redding decision-makers, including the engineers ought to know better.

  11. Anne says:

    People walking and biking love to have mature trees near trails and paths. The shade is very valuable to people moving about on errands or to and from home and work. People on foot or by bicycle often go out of their way to find a route with the comfort of trees and some shade.

    It's a shame to cut down mature trees – even though we desperately need to support people who want to walk and bicycle more in town.

  12. Jennifer Fairfield says:

    Save the trees

  13. KarenC says:

    I just sent my emails off! Beautiful trees…leave them alone!

  14. Pam Baugh says:

    Keep the trees! Please!

  15. Randy says:

    I would venture a guess that most people buying Toyotas are tree huggers.


  16. name says:

    Are those also known as Tea Trees?

  17. Dean Davis says:

    It is time for the engineers in Redding to honor trees. There have been way too many mature trees removed for convience of builders. Instead of just cutng them down we need a stronger tree ordonnance to prevent this from happening.

  18. KarenC says:

    Yes, they are also known as Tea Trees. Here is a link for some info on them. They can be very invasive, hopefully they are not invasive in Redding. The link tells how they have taken over hundreds of acres of land.

    • RMV says:

      Thanks Karen, i don't want to hurt feelings but,

      i hope the Palm Trees on Hilltop Drive are not

      invasive either, due to their Yellow Green color.

      I know i am beating a dead horse, but i Still insist

      that it was an blatant lie for those responsible to tell

      the taxpayers they did not cost the city $1.00.

      I Love Northern California and the Reasons others

      live and move here. God bless Our Land!! 🙂

    • DougM says:

      Please know there are a LOT of different species of these trees. I believe the ones here in Redding are not the invasive type.

  19. 2R's says:

    7P's Proper….Previous, "planning" prevents, piss, poor, Populations..( yes I changed it up a bit..) In THIS Case, like at the expanded Courthouse a year or TWO ago..Is Sad and shows In~ Or should WE say UN~credible thinking.. Backwards Not FORwards..for the Best Interest of Redding.Residents seem to WANT to keep these trees..LET them stay..InCOroperate them into the exsisting beauty and Future Planning…..Dont take away from it..

  20. Jenni Middleton says:

    I have already heard back from my email. (It should be days on the letter I mailed.) The reply was that they plan 'saving' three and will remove two. So, my question to this group…if anyone knows…..Since the trees are valuable, even though the roots are intertwined, are they hearty enough to be transplanted?

  21. Baphomet says:

    Ahhh yes these trees are invasive type across the street from Henderson Open Space , Homeless seek refuge and sanctuary under them and must ALL be removed.

  22. Frank Treadway says:

    Nice to see that our city and county have concerned persons when it comes to trees. Just some further input. These particular Melaleuca Trees have not multiplied since they've been there. They simply provide a gracious foreground for the successful Lithia Motors on Cypress Avenue. Therefore it is up to Lithia Corporate officers, Mr. de Boer and Mr. Iverson to direct the local engineer to design a way to save the 5 trees. This will be a good faith expression on their part and good for community relations. If the pressure from citizens of Redding to save the complex of Redwood trees on the corner of Oregon & Yuba Sts., last year, worked, then I feel good about the pressure to save the Melaleuca's will be equally as beneficial to all of us for years to come. Cutting down 2 of the 5 is not a compromise we want to have to live with. Several local persons have already talked about sitting in front of the chainsaws. I guess that's democracy for you.

  23. mike mathews says:

    Why are my tax dollars working for the good of Lithia anyway? Is it private money doing the work to realign the street?

  24. 2r's says:

    Trees~mend~Us.. Yes,I hope so… last I heard they were re~designing the courthouse expantion to Save those 100+ year old Redwoods.. Move the Jail AND the courthouse..from downtowns energy and FREE Redding!

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