Joe Bar elm trim? E Roy closed Friday for tree work — Plus, light rail concrete pour continues


Joe Bar on Roy, originally uploaded by opalescentmedia.

We’re still confirming if the amazing old tree in front of Joe Bar is the recipient of all this fuss, but we do know this: Seattle Department of Transportation has announced that a block of E Roy between Broadway and Harvard will be closed from Friday morning until around 3 in the afternoon for work to trim back a “historic” elm tree in the area. We like that this elm is so historic it gets a capital “E” in the SDOT announcement:

Urban Forestry crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will close East Roy Street between Harvard Avenue East and Broadway East on Friday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for work on a large, historic Elm tree.


Traffic will be detoured around the work area: eastbound traffic on Roy will be detoured southbound to Harvard Avenue East and then to East Mercer Street; westbound traffic will be redirected to Broadway, then to East Mercer Street and then northbound on Harvard.  On-street parking will not be allowed on the detour routes.

Urban forestry crews will prune the tree to provide adequate clearance from buildings and the street area, and to promote the long-term health of the tree.

The tree does not appear to be on the roster of Seattle heritage trees. We wrote here about the special Capitol Hill entrants in the list of 221 across the city. We also wrote about a very old oak tree just down the Hill from this elm. If we don’t take care of the big old ones, sometimes stuff like this happens. And sometimes stuff like that happens even when we do.

UPDATE: We still don’t know if this is the tree in front of Joe Bar that’s due for the work but, no bother, we have some more info from SDOT about the specimen. And, in true CHS fashion, we’ll be out there on Friday delivering live coverage! From SDOT:

The trunk was measured in 2008 and found to be 48 inches in diameter. Our SDOT Arborist Nolan Rundquist estimates it is about 80 feet tall.

I don’t know the specifics about this tree, but in general when we prune a tree like this we remove any dead wood and any branches with structural defects. Rundquist explained that this decreases the possibility of infestation by beetles which can result in Dutch elm disease.

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One thought on “Joe Bar elm trim? E Roy closed Friday for tree work — Plus, light rail concrete pour continues

  1. It is indeed the elm tree in front of Joe Bar that is being trimmed tomorrow morning. They told us that they would begin work at 10:00 am. Not sure how extensive a trim they are going to give it, but they have been great about protecting that tree as much as possible over the years. The street would definitely not be the same without it. We knew this was going to happen soon, but just found out yesterday that it is happening tomorrow morning. If we had more notice, we would have thrown a block party. Always amazed at how on top of it you all are at CHS. Keep up the good work.

    Devon from Joe Bar