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Damaged tree scheduled for removal from Sylvester Park


A swamp white oak tree in Sylvester Park

OLYMPIA — A damaged swamp white oak tree that poses safety hazards for park users as well as pedestrians along Legion Way Southeast is scheduled for removal from Sylvester Park on Sunday, Dec. 9.

The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services contracted with Timm's Tree Care of Olympia for the effort. The removal follows work with a consulting arborist to examine the 62-foot tree. The arborist determined that tree is separating between two of its main branches and has other tree health issues, and recommended either removal or significant pruning.

The tree is on the south side of a sidewalk along Legion Way.

"We've been working closely with the city of Olympia's urban forestry team on this project," said Brent Chapman, a horticulturalist with Enterprise Services. "Tree removal is never an easy call, but in this case it involves a damaged tree that's in a popular park and next to an extremely busy downtown sidewalk. Even if we pruned the separated branches, the tree would still pose some danger, and we're not willing to take that risk."

Work impacts

Impacts will include:

  • Closure of six parking stalls along Washington Street for equipment that's being brought in for the work  (beginning at the end of the workday on Friday)
  • A temporary closure of sidewalks near the tree during the work (roughly between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday)
  • Noise from chainsaws and a chipper during the work (on Sunday) 

Tree replacement

Once the removal is complete, Enterprise Services plans to replace the tree with a new swamp white oak tree in the same location.

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