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The Tale of Two Trees

A nearly 100 year old Western Red Cedar defined by the City of Seattle as exceptional and marked for preservation was illegally cut down by the development company Millad VII LLC in April 2021. The tree graced the Leschi neighborhood on property zoned Single Family and in a slide prone Environmentally Critical Area (ECA). Although the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection placed a Stop Work Order on the tree, the developers damaged the cedar and then paid their arborist to say the tree caused a potential danger. Without waiting for SDCI’s approval and a Stop Work Order wrapped around the tree, a demolition crew quickly cut down the tree before the SDCI Complaint Lines were staffed and an inspector was able to respond to the many calls from neighbors trying to save the tree.

Photo credit: Jayn Foy

Recently a Paper Bark Maple, a small deciduous tree, was been planted near the sidewalk on the vacant lot where the Cedar once stood. The City fined the developer over $90,000 for violating the stop work order and removing the Western Red Cedar and required an approved restoration plan prior to replanting.