The Friend’s of Troll’s Knoll want to get the word out that they had nothing to do with the trees recently removed from Winslow Place last week.
We have heard from many neighbors and supporters of the Troll’s Knoll in the past few days who have expressed their anger and frustration over the trees that have been removed along Winslow Place. We also are disappointed to see these trees removed. The tree removal was not associated with the Troll’s Knoll Park Proposal, but a maintenance effort performed by Seattle City Light. The Troll’s Knoll Concept Plan had hoped to preserve these trees to retain the tree buffer between the alley and the future park.
We met with City Light and the City’s Arborist several times this past month to understand why the trees needed to be removed. In our opinion, there appeared to be several trees marked for removal that were not in conflict with the power lines. City Light indicated the trees marked for removal were either in direct conflict with the power lines or within a three year growth zone of the wires, which required their removal. City Light explained to us how they are establishing a new three-year maintenance plan that requires any tree not in direct contact with power wires to be trimmed or removed if the tree or its branches are within a three year growth zone of the wires.
In addition to City Light and the City’s Arborist explaining their protocols, they worked with us to see if any of the trees marked for removal could be preserved. We developed two plans identifying trees we hoped to preserve and reviewed each tree individually with City Light staff. Unfortunately, only a couple of the trees on the southern end of Winslow Place were far enough from the wires to remain. The City’s Arborist also pointed out a few trees with poor tree structure that needed to be removed for safety reasons (we learned that when several trees within a grove are removed the trees that remain are more susceptible to wind loading. this can result in the trees being knocked down or branches falling).
We plan to continue a dialogue with City Light to discuss tree replacement opportunities. City Light recently hired a full time employee to manage their tree replacement program. It is our understanding City Light will provide tree certificates for the removed trees and we hope there are opportunities to plant new trees to begin re-establishing the tree buffer that has been removed.