OLYMPIA — Two longstanding Norway maples on Capitol Campus will be pruned on Sunday, Dec. 22. The work is being rescheduled from Thursday, Dec. 19 for safety reasons due to expected inclement weather.
One tree that will be pruned is near the sunken garden, and one is by Capitol Way between the Tivoli Fountain and the south diagonal (location map below). Work will begin at 7:30 a.m. and is expected to be completed that day.
The approximately 100-plus-year-old maples have health issues but they are manageable for now. The maples are significantly larger and older than average trees on campus—and branch weight needs to be reduced to extend the trees’ safe, useful life. Improvements also will be made to support braces holding up the trees’ branches. In addition, two black metal benches will be relocated from under one of the trees into the sunken garden to provide new opportunities to relax and enjoy the garden’s seasonal color.
The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services has contracted with Treewalker of Olympia for the service. During the pruning, there will be noise from chainsaws and tree chippers. Also, parking spaces will be cordoned off (green lines on work maps) on the north and south diagonals, and some sidewalks will be closed (red and yellow circles).
DES worked with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Tree Solutions, a certified consulting arborist firm from Seattle, to develop the management plan for the trees.
DES is working with DNR to plant 100 trees on the Capitol Campus by April 2020 in association with the National Association of State Foresters’s challenge. To date, about 40 new trees have been planted.
Trees 1 and 4 will be pruned and have improvements made to support braces holding up branches.