Orchard manager: Trees coming down for safety

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Sequim Gazette staff

Many of the poplar trees on Kitchen-Dick Road familiar to Sequim residents are rotten and so they are coming down.


The trees, located on Weyerhaeuser Sequim Seed property, were put in as windbreakers about 35 or 40 years ago and many are reaching the end of their natural lives, said Steve Mitchell, orchard manager at Weyerhaeuser Sequim Seed.


Mitchell said that though not all the trees are rotted through, the ones that are pose a hazard and that their removal will increase public safety.


“We get a lot of west wind, right up against the road,” he said. “These trees are big enough (that they) could hurt somebody.”


In addition, power outages caused by falling trees put area residents at risk, Mitchell said.


In January, Clallam County PUD vegetation management crews, with the help of Weyerhaeuser, removed hundreds of the older, unstable poplar trees along Kitchen-Dick Road. On Dec. 7, 2012, one of the trees fell into the PUD’s transmission and distribution power lines causing a power outage to more than 10,000 customers, PUD sources said.


The trees were in very close proximity to the power lines and represented reliability concerns in the future, said Mike Howe, executive communications coordinator for Clallam County PUD No. 1.


Mitchell said there are plans to put something in the poplar trees’ place.


“We do value the windbreak (there),” Mitchell said.

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