Parks to cut 22 ‘hazardous alder trees’ along West Seattle road

(Photo provided by Seattle Parks)
Seattle Parks says it’s hired a crew to cut 22 trees along SW Jacobsen, which runs east from Beach Drive at the south end of the Emma Schmitz Viewpoint waterfront. Spokesperson Dewey Potter explains:

This is to let you know that Parks is hiring a contractor to remove some hazardous alder trees along SW Jacobsen Rd., which runs through Me-Kwa-Mooks natural area. There are 22 trees identified for removal; all have either dead tops, advanced decay, severe leans and/or compromised structure. All have been rated at 11 points out of 12 on the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA): hazard evaluation form.

The trees have had signs on them for several months indicating that they are to be removed. One neighbor responded that she was concerned about migratory bird nesting, so Parks delayed the project until well after nesting season. In the field, several neighbors have expressed concerns about the trees because of falling branches or failing trees, and are happy that we are taking action. There is parking along the road and frequent pedestrian and vehicle traffic, which is endangered by falling limbs or whole tree failures. There have been several whole tree failures across the street in the past several years. The tree crew has done clearance and hazard mitigation pruning within the past year, but based on their aerial inspections, they report that the trees had defects that pruning could not correct. Given the species and conditions of the trees and site conditions, our professional arborists think that removing these trees is a necessary action to protect people and property.

Parks bid out the project, and the successful bidder is Asplundh Tree Expert Co. The contractor will be responsible for traffic control and chipping and removing logs.

Potter says the work will start on December 3rd.

17 Replies to "Parks to cut 22 'hazardous alder trees' along West Seattle road"

  • Flickertail November 27, 2012 (5:44 pm)

    While they are at it, perhaps they could clear the sidewalk of overgrowth. And ticket the little hoggies that park their cars on the sidewalk. Look at the photo. There is only one sidewalk.

  • marty November 27, 2012 (5:54 pm)

    What? Rotten/dead trees have to be evaluated and rated before they can be cut down? Stevie Wonder can see that those trees need to be removed!

  • Wetone November 27, 2012 (6:13 pm)

    Very glad to see those trees being addressed . Every year it seems like one comes down in the winds or snow. It would have been only a matter of time before someone gets hurt or killed by one falling.

  • Rumbles November 27, 2012 (6:25 pm)

    If you see someone parked illegally, and as you mention you feel it represents a hazard you can call the SPD “non-emergency” line at (206) 625-5011, option 2 then 8 and make a request for parking enforcement.

  • Robert November 27, 2012 (6:34 pm)


    You can always call in and request parking enforcement or even do the request online.

    • WSB November 27, 2012 (6:35 pm)

      And they’ll go anywhere. Saw a PEO in a very off-the-beaten-track neighborhood just this afternoon.

  • JayDee November 27, 2012 (6:51 pm)

    Leaning trees are a symptom of the incipient landslide underneath…

  • Flickertail November 27, 2012 (7:06 pm)

    Thanks, all. There is only a sidewalk on one side of Jacobsen. Midway up the hill the sidewalk switches sides. Often vehicles park on the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to walk in the street. The trouble is, Jacobsen is an arterial.

    On the upper portion, the sidewalk is seriously overgrown. I call SDOT once a year to request that they clear it. The last two years they have not done a very good job of clearing the upper sidewalk of debris.

    Whatever. Certainly not the end of the world…

  • JN November 27, 2012 (7:56 pm)

    I run along here every day, and these trees are unfortunately in dire need of removal. As Wetone said, one falls down almost every year from storms. And Flickertail is correct, I have to go in the street all the time because of the cars illegally parked on the sidewalk. Just because there isn’t a parking spot for you or your guests’ vehicles doesn’t mean that you can park on the sidewalk and endanger pedestrians.

  • D November 27, 2012 (7:56 pm)

    Those look to be within 10 feet of the high-voltage lines. That’s the utility’s domain. Why is Parks doing it?

  • Jeff November 27, 2012 (9:09 pm)

    It’s a perspective trick D, they are not close to the high voltage.

  • velo_nut November 28, 2012 (9:03 am)

    High Voltage Line?

  • Junction Mom November 28, 2012 (9:49 am)

    I absolutely appreciate the need to take down the trees, we use this road all the time, walk, run, or drive. As Jaydee notes, it is probably also due to slide conditions. WSB, does the Parks Dept. include any information regarding slope maintanence, or have you heard anything?

  • D November 28, 2012 (11:19 am)

    Yes, high voltage line – aka primary distribution line – aka 12.7 kV (shown). If a tree is a hazard to the high voltage line, the utility should remove it. If it is within 10 feet of the high voltage line, the utility or a certified line clearance worker has to do it (like Asplundh).

  • Jeff November 28, 2012 (4:03 pm)

    First, what you see is 26kV, and again it is a perspective trick. There is no clearance issue.

  • G November 28, 2012 (7:10 pm)

    That hillside has been leaning since I was a kid, nothing new, but they need to be removed. As far as the cars, they’ve been parking there forever too. Never was a big deal before. Now everyone is watching each other, in the name of community, or course.

    Adios, anonymity.

  • emcat8 November 29, 2012 (12:32 am)

    Will there be any new trees added in there at any point? I’m glad to see the hazardous trees go, since I walk in that area, but it would be good to have some more go in there for future.

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