Tree-removal project at Washington Park begins next Monday

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Beginning next Monday, trees will start coming down in Wenatchee’s Washington Park.

In fact, over the course of two weeks all the trees between the sidewalk and street will be removed on Wilson, Washington and Miller streets.

The city says the trees have been a problem for more than 20 years and tree failures have been increasing in recent years, with tree tops and limbs breaking off during wind storms.

In addition, diseases have struck many of the trees.

That, the city said, presents safety and other issues.

“We’re not excited about taking them out,” Wenatchee Parks, Recreation and Cultural Department director Dave Erickson. “Obviously we would like to see them here too but there comes a time. Some of these trees are probably 80 years old and that’s about the lifespan of those trees anyway.”

Work on replacement trees has already started, with some red oak trees having been recently planted.

“We’ll have a variety of trees. One of the things we’re going to do is diversify the species that we have in the park, so that way if a disease does come through it won’t wipe out all the trees,” Erickson said.

A contractor for the city will be removing the trees along Washington and Wilson streets and Chelan County PUD will remove the trees along Miller Street. The PUD’s involvement is because some trees are a threat to power lines.

Erickson said the city is required by law to declare the trees it falls as surplus property, so the city contractor will haul the logs to the cemetery, where they will be put up for bid.