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Shrub Planting Plans and Work Schedule Draft

posted Dec 12, 2010, 12:17 PM by Sun Secretary   [ updated Jan 7, 2011, 11:16 AM ]
1. Planting Plan

There is a map of the area at

Areas on both sides of the 4th Street on ramp to 280 have been popular areas for homeless encampments, drug use and drug dealing, drinking, and prostitution. These undesirable activities are all encouraged by the privacy that weeds and undergrowth provide. Keeping the area clear, with no privacy from the surrounding streets and houses, has resulted in a dramatic improvement since the summer of 2008.

The planting plan is designed to have two outcomes:
  1. Establishing ground cover that will discourage weeds and undergrowth, reducing the effort needed to keep the area clear
  2. Establishing strategically placed plants that make it harder for people to access the area, especially with shopping carts.

Originally the area was covered with ice plant, which was effective in preventing weeds and undergrowth. Most of this was killed by a severe frost in the 1980s. Some of it remains, but it has not spread back extensively. In some areas, a thick covering of needles from the Monterey Pines provides weed control. For the other areas (identified in the map), the ground cover proposed is myoporum parvifolium. (How many plants are needed per square yard? What size?)

Access to the area from the 4th Street on ramp was at one time blocked by large oleander plants. Some of these plants remain, but not in the critical places (identified on the map) where shopping cart access is possible. The proposal is to establish more Nerium oleander plants in these locations. (Are there better alternatives? What size?)

2. Irrigation Plan

There are two alternative plans to irrigate the plants and ground cover until they become established:
  1. Use the existing Caltrans irrigation facilities, repairing them if necessary
  2. Run hoses from adjacent property owners. (Owner of 163 Carrie Street has agreed to this)

3. Work Plan

Site Preparation
  • Weed and Litter Removal
    • Weeds present
      • Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon)
      • Mallow (Malva)
      • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
      • Oxalis
      • Algerian Ivy (Hedera canriensis)
      • Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
      • Barley grass (Hordeum murinum)
      • Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)
      • Undesirable saplings from established trees
    • Weeds will be removed with weed-whipping, mowing, and hand pulling
    • Debris will be carried to the street to be picked up by the city
  • Digging
    • Holes will be dug by hand and planted immediately
  • Preparation of Planting Holes
    • Organic compost as soil amendment

  • Watering Basins and Staking:
    • The plants will be either ground cover or bushes and will nor need staking
  • Mulch
    • Either a commercial or municipal source of mulch will be spread by hand from a wheelbarrow

Ongoing Maintenance
  • Watering
    • As needed until plants are established either using Caltrans irrigation or using hoses from adjacent property owners.
  • Mulch
    • Replaced as needed by hand from a wheelbarrow
  • Replacing plants
    • Monthly
  • Fertilizer
    • Fertilizer will not be used
  • Weed Control
    • Monthly
  • Litter Removal
    • Monthly
  • Removal from site
    • Plant debris will be carried to the city street where it will be picked up by the city
    • Litter will be placed in the recycling or trash cans of neighboring property owners with their permission

There will be no use of  herbicides or contractors. It would useful to be able to use a mower to control weeds on the flat areas.

4. Work Schedule for Tree and Shrub Planting and Maintenance Activities

Year 1
  • January - February
  • Weed control and litter removal prior to planting
  • Initial planting, mulching, and staking
  • Monthly weed control and litter removal
  • Year round irrigation as required

Following years
  • January - February
  • Replacement of dead and diseased plants
  • Reapplication of mulch
  • Monthly weed control and litter removal
  • Year round irrigation as required

The SUN Board voted to support this Adopt-A-Highway application. The SUN association will help organize volunteers to work on the adopted area including organizing a group who meet monthly (for example the first Saturday of the month) to work on planting or weed and litter control. Another plan is to make a community service program available for local high school seniors who need to fulfill their community service requirement to graduate.