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RIP, Cal Anderson bigleaf maple

"Wind storm knocks over tree on Capitol Hill Cal Anderson Park, Man stripped bare and climbs." (Image: @timdurkan via Twitter)

“Wind storm knocks over tree on Capitol Hill Cal Anderson Park, Man stripped bare and climbs.” (Image: @timdurkan via Twitter)

Damaged on a windy night in October 2014, the bigleaf maple standing on the southwest corner of Cal Anderson Park was taken down and hauled away by a work crew this week.

Seattle Parks tells CHS the tree’s health had been declining for several years and had “a large lead over the sidewalk that was decayed and cracking.” The Parks Arboriculturist said the decay was in the main trunk as well as major dead branches in the canopy.

In recent weeks, a sign was posted to notify park users and E Pine strollers that the tree was slated for removal. Parks says it received two calls from people concerned about the decision.

Over the recent years, Cal Anderson’s leafiness has been trimmed back for ease of maintenance and safety concerns. While the rats haven’t seemed to mind too much, there are fewer shrubs for them to call home today than five years ago. Meanwhile, a recommended $780,000 lighting plan for the park which could include further trimming remains only a study, for now.

Parks says the location where the bigleaf maple stood is now on the list for fall planting, “although it will have to be a smaller-stature tree since it is under powerlines.”

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12 thoughts on “RIP, Cal Anderson bigleaf maple

  1. Puzzled by the “fuck cal anderson” tweet. First of all, when a park is named after a person, and you say to fuck it, do add the word “park” at the end of your tweet. Secondly, they did their best to save it. Trees die. It happens. The only reason it’s more noticed in this case is because the hundred more trees that were there before the whole thing became a neighborhood (with houses, reservoir, etc.) had already been cut down. They’ll replant.

    The one that was not dying was that angled tree by Mercer & Broadway. That was brutal to cut that down. That deserved a fuck comment.

    • Mercer and Broadway?! Are you high?! That tree was FALLING OVER. Does the concept of a tree tipping and creating a danger to the surrounding streets and walkways mean nothing?

      As far as this tree goes, I would have loved to see somebody step up and turn the wood into a park bench or something nice to keep a bit of the tree near where it grew.

      Replanting is necessary

    • Just a good example of tendency these days of so many people to shoot their moths off first, whether or not they know what they’re talking about. I would add, “how dumb do they feel now?”, but in all likelihood they’re probably still shooting off their mouths still without knowing any details.

  2. Hello @biteme. That tree was angling like that for several years. It was just quirky looking, not diseased or dangerous. But thank goodness it was torn down so we all have a clear view of the overpriced Lab 5 Fitness and all the yuppie scum that works out there.

    • Do you have a source for this? Or are you an arborist? I’m not trying to be rude, it just seems like there are a lot of Opinions About Tree Health in this thread and I’m trying to figure out what the basis for them is.

    • Yes it had been leaning for more than 10 years, but it seemed to me that the lean had been steadily increasing, judging from how much I had to duck while walking past. That can’t have been a good sign.

    • Of course Max doesn’t have a source, other than his own Special Snowflake mind, which is always enough for people like him.

      A professional – not a Max – made this call. He or she was undoubtedly right, not just overly-emotional.

    • I would trust the city arborist any day to make such determinations, as opposed to some ill-informed person on the internet.

  3. Bigleaf maple trees have soft wood, prone to decay and breakage. Not a good city tree. Sad when they go, but will be replaced with a better urban tree. How about a ginkgo? Very durable, long-lived, beautiful tree. Not enough of them in Seattle.