Esposti Park Oak Tree
The Quercus agrifolia (coast live oak) centrally located within Esposti Park stands sentry on the southernly part of town. Estimated to be approximately 325 years old, this tree has become the symbol for the Town of Windsor and is reflected in the Town logo. Local lore tells stories of the unique tree being a hide-out for games of hide and seek and other childhood "shenanigans" as the tree naturally grows to touch the ground around the perimeter.
In 1987, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution (Reso. 87-2038) recognizing this coast live oak as a heritage tree. This designation provides the protections called out in the Sonoma County Heritage or Landmark Tree Ordinance (Ord. No. 3651). At the time, the tree was on private property but it has since become a public park and is available for all to enjoy!
Town staff and certified arborists monitor this tree closely and carry-out regular maintenance based on arborist recommendations. In recent years, the tree was vandalized when someone came and cut all of the low limbs and branches up, dramatically changing the natural state of the tree. The maintenance program since that time has been focused on restoring the tree to its preferred, natural state. This program has also included reducing irrigation and mulching in a larger circumference around the tree, specific fertilization and anti-fungal treatments and expanding the protective fencing. Often times distress in a tree takes years to exhibit symptoms which makes it difficult to determine the root cause. Some of the distress the tree is exhibiting, could be a result of stressors from 10+ years ago.
In an attempt to re-create the most native environment for the tree, staff have allowed for the "volunteer" trees around the perimeter to establish and take root. This has been intentional for a number of different reasons:
- It prevents the public from entering the protective area and causing additional damage;
- Allows for the natural process to occur and the "next generation" to thrive;
- It takes a cue from Mother Nature and generates a natural oak grove to protect the heritage tree.
In 2022, the heritage tree and the new oak grove a will receive some light pruning and thinning to establish a healthy balance for the site and to further establish the new grove.
If you have any specific questions regarding the heritage oak tree at Esposti Park, please do not hesitate to contact our Parks Department at 707-838-5399.