WEST SEATTLE PARKS: Why a tall tree was taken out at Me-Kwa-Mooks

Thanks to Christopher for the photo taken today at Me-Kwa-Mooks. We asked Seattle Parks about the tree crew; spokesperson Rachel Schulkin tells WSB that the pine was “being removed by Seattle Parks and Recreations Urban Forestry. This tree has come under attack by beetles carrying a fungus that is killing the tree.” If you look closely at the photo, you can see some of the tree’s branches are discolored.

13 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE PARKS: Why a tall tree was taken out at Me-Kwa-Mooks"

  • K February 16, 2022 (6:36 am)

    This story reminds me—do you happen to know why several trees were topped around the pond across from the Southwest Transfer Station? I noticed it a couple weeks back—looks awful.

    • Yup February 16, 2022 (9:25 am)

      K, they had a few trees drop on the road so somebody came out and cut them.  I agree it does look horrible.  Now you can see the camp on the lake

      • Westwood February 16, 2022 (10:12 am)

        Heaven forbid that you should have to see homeless people. The horror!!!

        • Yup February 16, 2022 (1:04 pm)

          Westwood,  was there a comment about the homeless.  I do believe it was about the trees being cut and left to look like crap. No mention of them, except by you. Sorry we talked about your camp. 

    • 22blades February 17, 2022 (9:23 am)

      I agree. It looked awful. I saw a sticker on one or more of the stumps. I’m assuming it was an illegal cut by vandals or property owner.

      • anonyme February 17, 2022 (9:55 am)

        This kind of illegal tree butchery should be reported to the city arborist.  For West Seattle, that is  James LeBlanc 206-379-1726, or james.leblanc@seattle.gov

  • anonyme February 16, 2022 (7:21 am)

    It’s possible (probable, really) that we will see much more of this type of tree loss.  Insect infestations are usually not the primary cause of tree death.  Usually, climatic or environmental influences cause the tree to weaken and become vulnerable to insects.  Some years ago, the southwest US lost most of its pinon pines due to extreme drought followed by infestations of beetles, and spraying with pesticides has little value as it does not address the root cause.  Forests are dying worldwide; this is just the beginning.  It’s sad to lose such a majestic old tree.

  • Richard February 16, 2022 (10:08 am)

    If you have pine trees you might proactively consider buying Beneficial Nematodes (Google them), mix with water, & spray into the soil underneath the tree trunk (very easy process).  The nematodes will attack the pine beetles which are feeding on the pine roots well below the surface.

    Pine beetles are a silent killer, there are no other signs until you see the dead needles. I lost a very large pine tree last summer & Beneficial Nematodes were recommended by an arborist in the hopes of saving the other six large pines in my yard … so far, so good … better to try something.  The nematodes will also kill other underground pests. 

    And fyi, my yard is immune from drought as I live at the foot of a steep slope & have a constant flow of water running thru my yard (i.e. my pine did not die from lack of water).

  • Auntie February 16, 2022 (10:29 am)

    Just wondering when Parks is going to remove the downed tree in the grassy area just west of the skate park on Delridge? It has been down, laying there, roots and all, for weeks. Seems like it could be dangerous for kids to play on…

  • Wit February 16, 2022 (10:39 am)

  • BlairJ February 16, 2022 (11:22 am)

    Do these beetles also attack fir trees?  I’ve notice two Douglas fir trees in Highland Park that were healthy a few years ago, but now have dead crowns.

  • StopCuttingDownTrees February 16, 2022 (12:01 pm)

    Awful news. I hope Parks plants several evergreen trees to offset the loss of that majestic pine. We had a 100-foot one here in Arbor Heights that turned brown from a beetle attack years ago but is now vibrantly green and healthy again.

  • anonyme February 16, 2022 (12:37 pm)

    Dead crowns on conifers can be caused by a number of factors.  Wind, drought, water, insects, fungal pathogens.  An arborist would need to take a look to nail down the cause, and treat it if possible.  Conifers are just as likely to die from excess water as from drought, especially if drainage is poor.  Beneficial nematodes are often species-specific, so make sure you identify the pest.  And last – topping is ALWAYS a terrible idea and does nothing to make a tree less likely to fall.   Aside from looking hideous and compromising the health of the tree, it makes the tree more unstable – not less.

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