January 29

Who moved my trees?



Who knows the answer to this? Emily emails:

I live at the corner of Northeast 80th Street & Roosevelt Way Northeast, and after being out of town for a couple days, we came home to find two midsize trees gone from the parking strip on 80th!

There are some tree parts and some assorted plastic bits from a car left behind… Was there a terrible accident over the weekend? Did someone take offense to the trees and pull them down? I am bewildered!

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Sara W

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  1. A very drunk driver took out these trees and a parked car along 80th around 2:30 am Sunday morning. Somehow he survived the crash without injury but we watched him easily fail his sobriety test, be handcuffed and placed in the back of the police cruiser. I’m sure the SPD has information on this driver with respect to submitting claims for the property damage (if you haven’t been contacted already).

  2. Holy cow. That was “something” he hit all right.

    Thanks for solving the mystery! And I’m glad to know my trees were the only fatalities.

  3. sat night/sunday morning the was a wreck on 80th. the guy took down your trees and hit a parked truck at 11th and 80th. my husband and i went out to see if anyone needed help. the police came. the guy only knew he “hit something”.

  4. I’m sorry, I was under the impression that the trees had “disappeared.” Are they just in pieces on the ground? If so, then I suggest that you report it to the City Arborists at (206) 684-TREE (8733)–which is a good number to call if you suspect tree vandalism on public property.

    Also, the City Arborists will contact the appropriate people to clean up the mess and to update the SDOT tree map–so that your trees can be replaced in a timely manner.

    If you want to actually choose and plant the trees in front of your house, the City Arborists can tell you how to get a permit to do so. (In the fall they have free trees for homeowners to plant, but I doubt that they have any left at this time–but you can always ask!) Just remember if you plant trees in your parking strip, you have to maintain them.

    I am so sorry to hear about your trees. I hope that the culprit is found and fined.

    Tree vandalism is a crime!

  5. I don’t think the trees were removed by the city… They were broken off, not sawn through, and the branches and trunks were left lying on the ground. Also, I’m fairly sure the city wouldn’t have removed trees over the weekend, and they were intact on Friday afternoon when we left town.

  6. I think it is very likely that either SDOT or Seattle City Light removed these trees. (My guess is that this happened before the DUI, only because you have not received any reports of chainsaws roaring in the wee hours.)

    In Seattle, SDOT owns and maintains street trees planted by the city. (If a property owner plants a street tree in the parking strip adjacent to their home, then the property owner owns the tree and they must maintain it.)

    Seattle City Light can prune or remove street trees if they interfere with power lines. (Sadly, City Light prunes for safety not aesthetics–which is why we suggest people plant trees away from power lines.)

    For more information about the removal of street trees at 80th, you visit:

    Or, call (206) 684-TREE (8733) to speak to a City Arborist.

  7. Another clue: there’s another missing tree and some more car bits (plastic, glass, etc) on the next block east on 80th, at 11th.

  8. Maybe the guy that’s been cutting all the trees in the beaver pond park is expanding his vandalism, like that crazy arsonist Greenwood had a year ago.

  9. Seattle DOT was trimming trees along Roosevelt last week. Perhaps the crews discovered the trees to be diseased or some sort of new rules doomed them to be removed.

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