Wedgwood tree remains standing as activists continue ‘tree-sitting’

Jul 20, 2023, 9:01 AM | Updated: 12:22 pm

A massive red cedar tree in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood remains standing Thursday morning as a home-building contractor scrambles to find another tree-service company willing to cut it down.

That was after their original contractor backed out of the project on Wednesday, Alex’s Tree Removal LLC confirmed.

Activist climbs Seattle tree to stop it from being cut down for housing

The city said the tree removal company hasn’t waited out the public notice period yet. The tree is currently listed on Seattle’s list of “exceptional” trees.

According to the City of Seattle’s Municipal Code, an “exceptional tree” is “a tree or group of trees that because of its unique historical, ecological, or aesthetic value constitutes an important community resource, and is deemed as such by the Director according to standards promulgated by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections.”

The tree, named “Luma” by activists, is occupied by a person hoping to stall its’ felling.

The original tree-sitter named “Droplet” has been replaced by a woman in her 50s going by the name “Droplet-2”.

She tells KIRO Newsradio she’s there for the duration.

“When this is over, I don’t know where the next one is, but we see it all the time,” Droplet-2 said. “So we are training, we are learning how to climb better, and there’s going to be a lot of people that have learned to work together and are ready to go to the next one.”

In March, the City of Seattle released the final 2021 Tree Canopy Assessment showing the city has lost 255 acres of tree canopy since 2016 — an approximate 1.7% relative decline in the amount of tree coverage around the city.

The contractor must find a new tree-cutting service by the end of the day Friday, or they lose their tree-cutting permit, and the whole process will have to start from scratch.

Kate Stone contributed to this report

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Wedgwood tree remains standing as activists continue ‘tree-sitting’