Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Speaking of trees

It's just a lovely memory now. It was trucked away, for the most part, over the weekend. But for multiple decades this majestic tree, believed to be a Chinese Elm, graced the E. Highland Drive road end near Lake Washington, just off of 43rd Avenue E. It split apart Friday morning at around 2 am, and a significant portion crash landed in the owners' backyard with a big kaBOOM (though at least some neighbors, we understand, slept through the whole thing). While the tree had not been known to be diseased, a not-very-close inspection shows the rot that must have caused the collapse.

There was no saving the standing portion. We're told that the arborist who made the initial inspection of the downed tree commented that what remained upright could fall at anytime: ten months, ten weeks---or perhaps ten minutes.  The homeowners wisely decided not to take the chance.

As an aside, we note that this Lake Washington road end has something of a reputation, or perhaps multiple reputations.  "Lovers' Lane" is one descriptor.  We've heard that when the tree fell in the dark of the early morning there was a car either directly underneath or close by. It was occupied by a couple who were not only startled out of doing whatever they were doing but also seriously impeded in their efforts to exit the scene.  No injuries reported, however.

It was just a few weeks ago that another prominent Washington Park tree experienced its own sad separation. This tree overhung E. Lee Street near 39th Avenue E.:

In this case the the rest of the tree has been saved, at least for now.  Though some of the tree is still there, it's standing with a lot less elegance and artistry than before the fall.

And speaking of trees, these two very tall trees located on the lot of a soon-to-be-demolished house at the northeast corner of E. Galer and McGilvra Boulevard are the subject of some concern.  It's not because they are in imminent danger of collapse, however.

In this case the issue has to do with the possibility that the recent purchaser of the property, Chaffey Building Group, may decide to remove the trees as part of its redevelopment plans.  The immediate neighbors and some other Madison Park residents are interested in petitioning to keep the trees. If you would like to help you can contact Gayle Jack, who is heading up this effort: gayle.sjack@gmail.com.

[Middle photo courtesy of Nancy Dobrin.]

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