2 major West Seattle streets about to get 100 more trees

November 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 35 Comments

We’ve heard about these planting plans at recent community-council meetings, and now we have official details from SDOT – 100 new street trees will be planted along Fauntleroy Way SW across from Lincoln Park, and along California Avenue SW in Morgan Junction, starting next Tuesday. Read all about them here.

35 Comments

  1. yay :)

    Comment by Jennie — 3:51 pm November 7, 2013 #

  2. Do you know if there is a way to ask for trees to be planted on our streets?

    Comment by Stephanie — 3:52 pm November 7, 2013 #

  3. Maybe the city could donate money to save the 22 bus instead of planting trees along California. Or, better yet, have the developers of all those apartments pay for the trees and to keep the 22. (I sure am in a cranky mood today.)

    Comment by iggy — 4:08 pm November 7, 2013 #

  4. Stephanie, the City of Seattle has a free street tree program for neighborhoods to plant their own. To get started, call 684-TREE (8733). If eligible, they will provide trees suitable to your site.
    Also, if you want to plant trees on your parking strip you are supposed to obtain a permit from the city. It’s not onerous, just designed to make sure you select appropriate species for your site and follow safety regulations for set-backs, utilities, etc. I led a planting on Phinney Ridge a couple of years ago, and it was really gratifying to add to the urban forest The kids involved are so proud to see the trees growing up with them, too.
    Love the trees!

    Comment by Linda — 4:16 pm November 7, 2013 #

  5. Great news and welcome the trees to our neighborhood however I observe a lot of trees that because of low growing branches and suckers along the trunk they pose a risk to pedestrian , bicycle riders and motorists. I do realize that to do major pruning of a tree one need a permit or a certified arborist. I am asking folks who observe these trees that impose risks to us in the community to either report them to the city arborist or get loppers and or a pruning saw and cut them back yourself as I do occasionally. Thanks

    Comment by NW — 4:18 pm November 7, 2013 #

  6. do you know if there is a way to ask SDOT to install sidewalks (where there are none) instead of street trees? ‘facepalm’ (isn’t that what the kids say these days) I would not have voted for BTG if I had been paying enough attention to realize how much landscaping it was going to fund…..

    Comment by sam-c — 4:26 pm November 7, 2013 #

  7. I second what NW says! I observed a lady who was out walking her dog whip out a pair of pruning shears and snip off several lowish (but not really in her way) branches and just drop them to the ground. I asked what she was doing and she said it was her “right” to get rid of branch that could be in her way. I told her to call and report it so a professional could take care of it and I got a lot of back talk from that suggestion! But it is true, that if they know an area is getting overgrown and in the way, they might be able to do some quick pruning on their way to other tasks throughout the city.

    Comment by CeeBee — 4:33 pm November 7, 2013 #

  8. There are community activists out there who can elaborate on the details but I can say without numerical details, sidewalks cost VASTLY more than street trees. And there *are* sidewalks being installed in places (another stretch in the works for Arbor Heights). And if you don’t already – participate in your community council (assuming you aren’t in the stretches of WS without one) because as detailed in the SDOT update, some of the requests come from community leaders, neighborhoods, etc. I know some folks in Morgan Junction worked pretty hard to get the ones that are on the way to California SW. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:37 pm November 7, 2013 #

  9. I know, it was sort of a rhetorical question. I have participated. I did participate at a Delridge District council meeting to lobby for a sidewalk project that was up for a funding vote. our neighborhood didn’t have enough voters, so it lost out to a couple projects, including a drainage bioswale on 25th or 26th or something… sigh. I’ve filled out applications to be considered in the city’s CIP program..

    Comment by sam-c — 4:44 pm November 7, 2013 #

  10. The belly aching that goes on here is tiresome. Planting more trees is great for us and for the environment and the selections are all beautiful. We will always be able to identify a cause more worthy of our tax dollars than whatever issue is currently at hand. The same can be said of your personal budgets. Do you need that coffee? Gourmet cheese? Cable? That trip? No. But they enrich your life. There is an endless list of needs in our personal life and of a city and sometimes it’s okay to put some money aside for pure enrichment.

    Comment by CJ — 5:48 pm November 7, 2013 #

  11. I second Iggy’s comment. We should have asked the developers to pony up for transit. It’s ridiculous to bring all these people in and then take away transit. Does anyone else here feel like you are being held hostage?

    Comment by Neighbor — 5:54 pm November 7, 2013 #

  12. This is wonderful news, and the tree choices are beautiful.
    Nice variety, lots of color—thanks to all who dedicate themselves to our urban landscape.

    Comment by pupsarebest — 5:56 pm November 7, 2013 #

  13. iggy, the Metro busses are run by King County, not the city. I do like the idea of having developers pay for trees, and sidewalks, and road improvements, and bike trails, and schools, and for the cost of sewage overflow, and sewage treatment… oh, wait, those are the things we pay for so the developers can crap on us.
    .
    See iggy, you’re not the only grumpy one. ;)

    Comment by Mike — 6:02 pm November 7, 2013 #

  14. I believe in Gorilla Gardening!

    Comment by NW — 6:33 pm November 7, 2013 #

  15. Them planting trees on your parking strip for you is great, hoever if they do plant trees on your parking strip you are required to get a permit before you can trim them yourself.

    Comment by kirstin — 6:45 pm November 7, 2013 #

  16. Does anyone get backed up sewer lines from tree roots? I do. I reported numerous times locations where trees have grown into the power lines, trees with branches that pose safety problems to pedestrians and cars. Sometimes the problems are addressed and sometimes not.

    Comment by Seattlite — 7:02 pm November 7, 2013 #

  17. I’ve covered numerous briefings by city reps regarding trees. They are chosen now specifically NOT to grow into power lines (and PLEASE read the link we point to here, which also talks about proximity to utility lines, or lack of it). City Light discussed this in detail back when they started a cycle of tree-trimming in 2008.

    Comment by WSB — 7:20 pm November 7, 2013 #

  18. Wonderful news!

    Comment by Brad — 7:28 pm November 7, 2013 #

  19. Yay!!! More trees means more oxygen, shade and places for birds to live. I always love when a sidewalk strip is planted with trees :)

    Comment by ttt — 9:49 pm November 7, 2013 #

  20. I often get frustrated with these discussions, partly because as CJ mentions – there are numerous valuable services/infrastructure our community needs, and we can get caught up in the debate on which is more important, when in reality, they all are! But my main frustration is that street trees and other urban forestry restoration projects are considered aesthetic improvements and thus less important – but they provide real value as well – numerous city studies across the country on the value of trees and the i-Tree program (http://www.itreetools.org/) are a testament to that.

    Most people understand the environmental benefits:
    1 – Air Quality – trees sequester (separate/store) carbon from fossil fuel burned and breath expelled by living creatures (like us!) and return oxygen back into the atmosphere – that’s a great arrangement!
    2 – Water Quality – trees prevent rain water from collecting and running along hard surfaces (roofs, sidewalks, streets, parking lots, etc.) which often contain various pollutants and funnel down into our streams and rivers and ultimately Puget Sound. Trees, particularly evergreens, act as giant sponges to slow polluted run off and filter water back into the water cycle (infiltrating through roots or through vapor). You need only stand under a cedar tree during a rain shower to understand this function.

    But maybe lesser considered are these values:
    3 – Trees increase property values. Maybe that is mainly through the aesthetic benefit (tree-lined streets look cool!) Perhaps its due to the mental health benefits (studies showing that people with views of trees/natural settings have less issues with depression and other similar ailments than those with views of say a brick wall). Regardless, with increased property value, there is increased property tax revenue – and in a large city, this can be a huge amount of money.
    4 – Streets with trees are safer – it sounds counter-intuitive, but streets lined with visible obstacles (trees, buildings, signage, driveways, etc.) actually have fewer and less traumatic accidents, since drivers tend to drive slower and more cautiously due to the surrounding “visual noise”. Also trees provide shelter – shade during the summer, protection from rain/snow during inclement weather – so combined with the aesthetic benefit, people are more likely to walk along these streets, and eyes on streets also helps with community safety (less crime, etc.)

    Does that mean we need to plant huge trees everywhere and never remove any? Of course not, trees have a life-span like all other living things, and towards the end of theirs, they actually start to expel gases and trap less and less carbon – plus they become more unstable and likely to fall during large storms. But as we remove old/unstable/unsuitable trees, we should continue to replant new trees in consideration of the site (power/sewer lines, stable soil/terrain, etc.) – as green as it is here in Seattle, it is still greatly denuded from the natural conditions that existed here, and the more we can mimic that in logical methods, the better it will be for all of us!

    Jeff Speck’s book entitled “Walkable City” (available at the Seattle Public Library) does a great job of synthesizing much of this info – I highly recommend it, and it’s an easy/entertaining read.

    I now return you to your previously scheduled program :)

    Comment by B-Check — 10:25 pm November 7, 2013 #

  21. B-Check, couldn’t have said it better.

    I’d love to see trees along 35th south of Rox, but it’s a hard sell due to the random parking on planting strips and sidewalks. But it would help with the speeding issue, as well as beautify this section of I-35.

    Comment by anonyme — 6:48 am November 8, 2013 #

  22. B-Check makes very valid points and I wholeheartedly agree with all of them. However, I hope that those who are proponents of additional street tree’s have some level of understanding and appreciation for the large swaths of streets in West Seattle, with most of them being in Delridge, that do not have sidewalks, curbing, drainage nor planting strips. Without these basic public infrastructure improvements street tree’s are not allowed and will not be approved by SDOT. The result is that certain neighborhoods receive yet more benefits when other neighborhoods are kept in a state that is in my opinion an embarrassment to a city that claims to be all about equity, walkability, livability, and pedestrian and driver safety.

    Comment by Mike — 9:30 am November 8, 2013 #

  23. Now if Seattle would look at the walking route to Sanislo Elementary They will see that there are no sidewalks for the majority of the children for walking to school. “Safe walking Route” what a joke that is.

    I would rather see sidewalks put in to protect our children – than planting these trees.

    Comment by Mike Gross — 9:47 am November 8, 2013 #

  24. 5. They block the view of neighbors watching out for burglars breaking and entering into your property. Oh wait….

    Comment by Charlestown — 10:30 am November 8, 2013 #

  25. Wow, I applaud their tree decisions. Parrotia, Snowbell… excellent! Thankfully no more Lindens. What a horrible street tree with that dripping sap!

    Comment by junctioneer — 11:22 am November 8, 2013 #

  26. I do realize that sidewalks are a lot more expensive. If you forgo a multitude of these little projects (landscaping projects, rechannelizations that some may think are not necessary), you have a larger amount for larger projects.

    Hey, they are funding the Delridge greenway w/ $430,000 BTG funds that looks like a pretty substantial project (including speed humps, raised crosswalks, WIDENING sidewalks..) why the *&^% can’t we get sidewalks, on a designated walking route to an school no less?

    Comment by sam-c — 11:38 am November 8, 2013 #

  27. Hey Junctioneer, no disrespecting the linden trees! My family was named for them in the old country.

    Comment by Mike Lindblom — 11:57 am November 8, 2013 #

  28. That is a stellar list of trees! Hard not be pleased by how the streets will eventually look like. Nice!

    Comment by westseattledood — 12:13 pm November 8, 2013 #

  29. If you go along 37th SW south of Alaska you will see trees that had been planted by the City have been removed. They didn’t check where the sewer lines were and the roots entered the lines. Where they haven’t been removed you can see big trees next to small trees of the same variety. Problem in the making. Departments not communicating with one another.

    Comment by Carol Hudson — 3:25 pm November 8, 2013 #

  30. Mike Gross- you are assuming that SDOT would do something that made sense.

    Comment by sam-c — 4:28 pm November 8, 2013 #

  31. Mike–no disrespect to the tree itself, but it’s a horrible street tree. The aphids devour it when it’s in leaf, dropping sap all over the cars below. Park any car under the Lindens during the summer at the Junction or elsewhere for 2 hours (or worse, overnight) and you’ll come back to find it looks like it poured rain all over your car, except it’s sticky and stays until you wash it! And the sidewalks become sticky… no, it’s a bad sidewalk tree. A nice park tree, but they leave such a mess when on streets that I’d strongly advocate for their replacement.

    Comment by junctioneer — 7:03 pm November 8, 2013 #

  32. Mike Gross -

    The proposed Delridge-Highland Park Greenway currently has potential crosswalks near 17th…I think right by the school? There is a meeting to get input from neighbs on Nov 17 (5:30-7:30) at the Salvation Army. Check the plan map on the seattle.gov/transportation site under Delridge-Highland Park Greenway.

    Comment by westseattledood — 8:22 pm November 8, 2013 #

  33. The meeting is on November 19th. We will be writing more about that whole project this weekend.
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/delridgehighparkgreenway.htm

    Comment by WSB — 8:30 pm November 8, 2013 #

  34. Dpd website lists the rules for pruning trees over a sidewalk. I believe it’s 8′. I can’t imagine you’d get in to trouble if you were doing some maintenance trimming or trying to get the trees to their standard. Yes, some people need to work at it a bit more, but I think it would be rude to prune a tree in front of someone else’s house without talking to them first.

    Comment by Bath — 8:51 am November 9, 2013 #

  35. Snowbells are a terrible street tree as well. The hard, round drupes (seeds) completely cover the walkways in late summer, making a dangerous mess to walk on or through. It’s a beautiful tree for sure, but better in an ornamental landscape.

    Comment by anonyme — 2:50 pm November 9, 2013 #

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