Smaller trees to replace some evergreens downtown

January 3, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Crews plan to replace ailing Douglas firs at a downtown Issaquah intersection and add smaller trees.

The city recently approved a plan to replace nine Douglas firs near Front Street North and Northwest Dogwood Street. The plan does not affect the towering Douglas firs on the nearby Village Theatre property.

The replacement for the removed Douglas firs will be evergreen and deciduous trees, plus ground cover.

City officials said declining health is affecting seven trees included in the removal plan.

The removal is also meant to allow more sunlight to reach solar panels planned for installation nearby. Plans call for some of the solar panels to power a pair of electric vehicle charging stations.

Under city code, plans also call for two additional Douglas fir trees to be removed for a smaller variety of evergreen tree to be planted, because the existing trees might otherwise block the solar panels.

Replanting should be completed within 60 days of the tree removal. The removal is scheduled for early January.

The applicant is also considering the removal of five oak trees near First Place Northwest. The existing trees caused damage to the curbs and roadway.

If the plan to remove the oaks proceeds, plans call for smaller varieties to be planted in the same area.

In December 2008, City Council members adopted stricter rules for tree removal. The changes came after more than a yearlong process.

The updated code revised how many trees can be removed from commercial and residential properties. The changes also outlined “significant,” “landmark” and “protected” trees and established a process to remove such trees.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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