Eric H. reached out to us in the fall of 2019. He was taking the lead on managing an oak tree located in the planting strip (the area between the sidewalk and the street) in front of his Capitol Hill townhouse. These trees are public property, under the jurisdiction of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) but in most cases are managed by the adjoining landowner. This is one of the largest oak trees we have seen in the city and its canopy overhangs at least five different properties. It is on the Seattle Heritage Tree registry as well, for good reason!
Craig Bachmann of Tree 133 Assisting with the pruning work
We met with Eric to determine if the tree needed our help. His goals were to provide adequate clearance for the street and surrounding buildings, to manage the tree for safety, and to keep the tree as healthy as possible. We determined that some clearance pruning was needed and also recommended cabling of a decaying lead, removal of large deadwood to address the immediate concerns. We also provided an optional pruning item wherein we would perform pruning cuts at the ends of large branches to reduce load and leverage, making them less likely to break. This sort of pruning is typically called "crown reduction pruning." To keep the tree healthy we wanted to remove the minimum amount of live foliage possible to meet these objectives.
Arborist Miles Uses a rope to gently land a large branch section
Additionally we coordinated permitting for the pruning work with SDOT. A pruning permit is required when cuts larger than 2" in diameter will be performed, or when more than 15% of the live crown will be removed from any tree in their jurisdiction. After much coordination the work day arrived. We utilized both arboricultural rope systems as well as an aerial lift to access the tree and perform the pruning work.
The tree provides valuable shade to our client's roof deck
After a tiring but fulfilling day the pruning was complete. We have since provided services to monitor the tree on an ongoing basis and are happy to report it is doing well.
Notes from Eric H about the project: - I’m so happy to have your assistance in caring for such an incredible asset for our street and our city. - While your quote was not the least expensive, it provided detail and clarity in ways that established confidence in your work. - The work was executed with care and consideration for the surrounding plantings and neighbors, not a simple thing to do because under the footprint of the tree / work area are several homes, a couple private gardens and existing fences - not to mention my roof! - Rather than cut everything I was prepared to pay for, you educated me about proper care and we reduced less so as to assure health and vitality of the tree. - Service went beyond just pruning the tree and included a little education about how to condition the soil in which the tree is rooted for better health. - At least once a week in the summer and fall people come by to visit this tree, some come to take pictures, some reach out and touch it in passing, and others simply stop and hug it.
This work was performed with the assistance of Arborist Craig Bachmann of Tree 133 in addition to Conservation Tree Care's own arborists. With such a large tree it was great to share the workload.