What may have been the largest ficus tree on all of 24th Street has bit the sawdust, as its branches were all chopped down Wednesday, and on Thursday it was removed entirely.
The three-year battle over the fate of the beautiful but relentlessly trouble-causing ficus trees on 24th Street seemingly came to a close in March 2021, when Public Works started removing 31 ficus trees from 24th Street. But the job is still not entirely done, as Mission Local reported Wednesday that arguably the largest ficus tree on the 24th Street corridor, the ficus tree at Mission and 24th Streets outside McDonald’s has been removed.
SFist observed what remained of that tree outside the McDonald’s in above condition Wednesday evening, shortly before 7 p.m. According to Mission Local, the effort to remove all of the tree’s branches took “nearly 10 hours.”
The branches had clearly been reduced to sawdust, as a Public Works truck full of the branches’ shredded remains sat next to the meager remnants of the tree.
And as of 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon, that sucker is pretty much entirely gone. Public Works crews were no longer on hand, though there is presumably some stump removal remaining on their agenda.
And it’s no mystery why these trees have to go. As seen above, the cracked sidewalk has created gaps of nearly four inches in between cracked levels of sidewalk, created a hazard for anyone using a wheelchair, stroller, cane, or even their own two feet.
And given the other emerging cracks, it was only a matter of time before the sidewalk got far more hazardous.
So pour one out for that giant ficus tree outside the 24th Street McDonald’s, seen above, towering at nearly 30 feet up until this week. The 24th Street ficus trees were planted in the 1980s, and have been around more than 40 years. But given the large number of trees that toppled during this winter’s storms, and how ficus trees seem to come wrecking down more frequently than other species, you can see why Public Works would want to shiver the timbers of the ex-ficus tree at 24th and Mission Streets.
Images: Joe Kukura, SFist