SLO High chastised for removing large tree

San Luis Obispo High School officials recently chopped down an old eucalyptus known as the “Big Tree” to make room for a planned remodel of the campus, which angered numerous members of the community. [CalCoastNews]

Known as a gathering place for students, the tree is a recognized part of the campus. In protest, supporters of saving the tree circulated a petition which garnered more than 1,650 signatures.

“The Big Tree stands as a landmark for not only the high school, but for San Luis Obispo itself,” the petition stated. “San Luis Obispo High School wouldn’t be the same without it.”

San Luis Coastal Unified School District officials said the eucalyptus tree was unsafe when they announced plans to replace the tree with a new student support center and performing arts building.

Likewise, a large Heritage Oak and other trees located at the northern edge of campus will be removed and replaced with a 12-classroom building. District officials say there are few, if any, places to build on campus, and they need to meet the expanding needs of students.