Enjoy street eats along Issaquah’s edible landscape

August 21, 2012

A pedestrian walks under ripening fruit on plum trees in front of KeyBank. By Greg Farrar

Don’t go to the store to buy supplies to bake pies or can fruits — go to Northwest Gilman Boulevard.

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Tree cleanup is latest headache for storm-weary residents

January 24, 2012

Fallen tree branches, scattered across the landscape like so many broken Lincoln Logs, continue to bedevil road crews and residents days after a major snowstorm and crippling ice storm rolled across Western Washington.

The task to clean up downed trees posed a challenge as the region faced a long power outage and difficult road conditions.

“From a tree damage standpoint, this has been very high,” city Arborist Alan Haywood said Jan. 23. “It’s not as catastrophic as the big windstorms we’ve had, because we did not have many real large trees come down and come down on houses and do that kind of damage.”

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Tree cleanup is latest headache for storm-weary residents

January 23, 2012

NEW — 8:15 p.m. Jan. 23, 2012

Fallen tree branches, scattered across the landscape like so many broken Lincoln Logs, continue to bedevil road crews and residents days after a major snowstorm and crippling ice storm rolled across Western Washington.

The task to clean up downed trees posed a challenge as the region faced a long power outage and difficult road conditions.

“From a tree damage standpoint, this has been very high,” city Arborist Alan Haywood said Jan. 23. “It’s not as catastrophic as the big windstorms we’ve had, because we did not have many real large trees come down and come down on houses and do that kind of damage.”

Downed trees on roadways prompted closures on city, county and state roads in Issaquah and nearby areas. Some homeowners reported damage from falling branches.

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City arborist offers advice to protect trees for winter

November 29, 2011

Issaquah city arborist and horticulturalist Alan Haywood said trees can suffer significant damage in winds of about 40 mph.

And Haywood said winds of that strength are not all that unusual in Issaquah. So, what do you do about the potential problem?

“Well, you can’t do anything to stop the wind,” Haywood said.

But there are steps you can take to protect both your trees and your home and other property from damage. Kevin Zobrist is a forestry educator for WSU and was one of the instructors for a recent outreach course on protecting trees. He said unhealthy or potentially hazardous trees will exhibit several warning signs, including yellowing or thinning foliage. Zobrist said the most common tree problem locally is root rot, a type of fungal infection.

According to Zobrist, the Douglas firs common in the Northwest are particularly susceptible to root rot. Some signs include a rounded, as opposed to a pointed, treetop.

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Fall chemistry turns leaves from green to gold

October 18, 2011

The mercury dips, rain starts to fall more often and leaves metamorphose from a demure green to riotous colors.

Why? The change of color each autumn involves a complex chemical process as trees prepare for the coming winter.

Throughout the growing season, chlorophyll is produced constantly. Then, as autumn starts and nights turn longer, chlorophyll production slows and then stops. The process allows the other colors in a leaf’s palette —brilliant golds, oranges and reds — to appear.

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Off the Press

January 25, 2011

My weather knowledge was a little foggy

Every morning, when I get off Interstate 90 to drive into Issaquah, I look up at Tiger, Squak and Cougar mountains to get a glimpse of their surreal greenery. Mostly, I just see a bunch of fog.

Laura Geggel Press reporter

That dense, whitish-gray stuff isn’t on my A list. It reminds me of Harry Potter’s dementors. It’s gloomy and makes me feel claustrophobic. Fog hides the sun — which, I guess means I don’t have to wear sunscreen, but it shields all of the vitamin D I could potentially be making from those ultraviolet rays.

And don’t even get me started on literary metaphors. Charles Dickens used it to set a dismal scene in “Bleak House.” In Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” fog causes Huck and Jim to miss a turn, making them head south into slave country, away from the freedom of the North.

Still, it turns out my understanding of fog was, well, foggy.

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Growing legacy: Issaquah reigns as Tree City USA

April 20, 2010

The mayor and city brass gathered to celebrate Arbor Day last April beneath dull gray skies — a bare, drab scene unlike the leafy canopy shading Issaquah streets in summertime.

City leaders and residents gather every spring to plant the official Arbor Day tree: a Burr oak near Gibson Hall last year, a crabapple at Grand Ridge Elementary School the year before. The annual ceremony serves as more than a photo opportunity.

Officials will mark Arbor Day indoors next week, with a presentation by city Open Space Steward Matt Mechler to the municipal Park Board.

Issaquah, designated as a Tree City USA for the past 16 years, is required to observe and proclaim Arbor Day to maintain the designation. Officials mark the day with a tree planting, and select a ceremonial tree for each occasion.

City Arborist Alan Haywood oversees the urban forest and ensures that Issaquah keeps the Tree City USA distinction — no small feat in a city where tree canopy covers 51 percent of the municipality.

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Artists create lasting memories of community icons

September 1, 2009

Artist Ashley Weiss paid tribute to set designer Alex Berry with this sculpture in last year’s Collective Memory project. File

Artist Ashley Weiss paid tribute to set designer Alex Berry with this sculpture in last year’s Collective Memory project. File

Alex Berry was left with such a lasting impression after being honored in the 2008 artEAST Collective Memory Project, that he decided to return the favor for someone this year.

The Collective Memory project began in 2007 when 18 artEAST artists partnered with local community members — from well known to obscure, quiet to colorful — who helped shape the community. The artists honored these citizens by telling their life stories through original works of art.

Berry, 43, a native of Issaquah, had his story told of working 30 years at Village Theatre as everything from director to set designer, in the form of a sculpture by artist Ashley Weiss.

“It was absolutely fabulous,” he said. “I was so impressed by all the quality of work produced.”

So impressed, he asked to be involved this year as an artist. Karen Abel, executive director of artEAST, paired him with Greg Spranger, the man behind many DownTown Issaquah Association projects.

“I had heard of Greg long before I actually met him,” Berry said. “A couple years ago, he called me and wanted me and my father to come down and paint oversized wooden Christmas ornaments for the Hailstone Feed Store project.” Read more

Arbor Day Assist

April 21, 2009

arborday-city-copy

Mayor Ava Frisinger plants a Burr oak sapling during the city’s Arbor Day celebration. City Arborist Alan

Plant trees to mark Arbor Day

April 6, 2009

A majestic Burr oak will be added to the Gibson Park landscape April 8, when city officials and volunteers gather to mark Arbor Day. Though the national holiday will be observed April 24, locals and Washingtonians will get a jumpstart on Arbor Day because early April is more conducive to planting in the Evergreen State. Read more