Wedgwood: A Leafy Neighborhood

Wedgwoodians love their neighborhood trees.  In addition to nurturing the trees that we already have, Wedgwoodians are enthusiastic about planting even more trees.

Heavy outward growing limbs of the scarlet oak have been trimmed to reduce strain on the central trunk. The bolted ends of bracing rods can be seen on either side.

Heavy outward growing limbs of the scarlet oak have been trimmed to reduce strain on the central trunk. The bolted ends of bracing rods can be seen on either side.

Wedgwood’s spectacular scarlet oak, a designated Heritage Tree of Seattle, is being maintained by the Urban Forestry division of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).

As told in this recent blog post, Urban Forestry was alerted by Wedgwoodians that the large oak tree on NE 77th Street at 38th Ave NE, seemed to have a vertical crack in the main trunk.  An oak, with its heavy limbs and wide-spreading canopy, is prone to this kind of damage.  As the limbs grow out to the sides, the weight of them strains the core of the tree trunk.

The scarlet oak is in the right-of-way (literally in the street) and as such is a street tree protected by SDOT’s Urban Forestry.  To repair the tree and lessen the risk of further damage, some of the oak’s largest lower limbs have been removed and a system of bracing rods and heavy cables has been installed to support the main trunk and pull limbs toward the center of the tree.

One of the bracing rods inserted all the way through heavy limbs are helping to draw them toward the center and reduce strain on the main trunk of the scarlet oak.

One of the bracing rods inserted all the way through heavy limbs are helping to draw them toward the center and reduce strain on the main trunk of the scarlet oak.

Metal bracing rods have been inserted through the lower-level limbs and heavy cables are in the upper canopy, pulling the branches inward.  These materials came from the supplies of Seattle City Light.  Urban Forestry installed them in Wedgwood’s scarlet oak and the gray metal is very unobtrusive, blending as it does with the oak’s bark color.

It is believed that with the lessened strain on the central trunk, the crack in it will heal and the tree will remain viable.

 

Trees for Neighborhoods 2016:

Free trees are available from the City of Seattle’s residential tree planting project.  Applications open on Monday, July 18th.

maple on 91stTrees for Neighborhoods participants receive:

  • Free trees (up to 4 per household, lifetime max of 8).
  • A watering bag & mulch for each tree
  • Training on proper planting and care
  • Assistance applying for street tree planting permits
  • Ongoing care reminders and future pruning workshop opportunities
  • Must attend a planting and care workshop in Autumn 2016

How to Apply:

Take time to evaluate potential planting sites on your property. Read the planting considerations. Consider attending a Trees for Neighborhoods Tree & Site Selection Workshop in July to learn how to select the right tree for the right spot in your yard.   

Clean-up at Gates of Wedgwood.June 3 2016Review the 2016 tree list here. Pay attention to the mature size of the trees and their needs for sun. Select trees that will have room to grow to maturity. If you have the space, please consider planting a larger stature tree.

Apply for trees starting Monday, July 18th through the online application, available on the webpage. This year’s application is a lottery; applications will be accepted between July 18th until August 10th. NOTE- there is no longer any benefit to submitting your application early. All applications will be processed once the first lottery round closes on August 10th. If trees are still available following this first lottery round, in mid-August there will be a second lottery round for remaining trees. Learn more about the new application process here.

If your application is approved, you will sign up to attend a planting and care workshop next fall to pick up your trees.

Seattle reLeaf Trees for Neighborhoods

About Wedgwood in Seattle History

Valarie is a volunteer history writer for the Wedgwood neighborhood in Seattle, Washington.
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3 Responses to Wedgwood: A Leafy Neighborhood

  1. Lee says:

    Wish we had free trees here!

  2. Seattle is tree-oriented, for sure.

  3. Suzanne says:

    I knew the son whose father, Albert Balch, built the original group of Wedgwood houses. He said his dad had very strong views on what constituted a neighborhood, part of which was keeping as many trees as possible. That was quite contrary to “cut it all, then build” which seemed to be popular at the time.

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