OLYMPIA — Two 100-plus-year-old Norway maples will be removed on Oct. 23 because their health has deteriorated to the point that they are a safety hazard.
The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services has contracted with TreeWalker to remove the trees, which are rotting from the inside out and have large, heavy branches that hang over popular walkways on the Capitol Campus.
“We are sad to see these trees go but we would like to acknowledge the Department of Enterprise Services for extending their lives well beyond what would be expected in an urban forest environment,” said Ben Thompson, urban forestry specialist with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. “And we are excited to be partnering with DES to plant 100 new trees on the campus. Many of the new trees are being planted nearby.”
Between October 2019 and April 2020, DES is working in partnership with DNR to plant 100 new trees on the campus. About 10 trees have been planted so far, many in planting zones near the maples that must be removed.
On Oct. 23, the tree removal work will impact pedestrian traffic on campus near the World War II Memorial and the intersection of Capitol Way and 11th Avenue Southwest (map). There will be noise impacts during the work, which will take place between 6 a.m. and the end of the day.
On Oct. 24, DES crews will remove the metal poles that were used to support tree branches. No noise impacts are anticipated, but the work will impact pedestrian traffic near the memorial as well as a small number of parking spaces in the North Diagonal.
In December, two additional Norway maples will be pruned. DES also will have improvements made to support braces holding up branches. These trees have health issues but they are manageable for now. All four of the maples with health issues were part of the original Olympia neighborhood before the Capitol Campus was constructed.
More information is available online.