Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Going, Going, Gone: Two Legion Way Trees Come Down

Above: Workers bring down a tree on Legion Way today.

by Janine Gates

Workers took down two trees on Legion Way today. They were the first of five that will be removed this week. Topping, a once accepted pruning practice, has permanently damaged some of the iconic trees and pose a serious safety risk.

The city of Olympia and the Eastside Neighborhood Association (ENA) are having a Legion Way tree planting and Veteran’s Day celebration on Thursday, November 11, 2010, at 1:00 p.m. Look for the booths and staging area in the First United Methodist Church parking lot at 1224 Legion Way SE.

Legion Way will be local access only on Nov. 11, with parking restrictions on Nov. 10 and 11.

Much like the original celebration and planting in 1928, the community is invited to celebrate, and will include American Legion Post #3, the National Guard, the 2nd Battalion 146th Field Artillery, and Ira L. Cater Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post #318.

The city and the ENA will be celebrating the planting of 12 new oak trees, a new long-term stewardship plan, and the ongoing living memorial of Legion Way's trees. The 12 new trees will replace seven trees that have been lost over the past few years due to branch or whole tree failures.

The city has developed a long-term stewardship plan to help ensure the well-being of the trees and the safety of those who live on Legion Way.

Above: With the state Capitol Building peeking out from behind Madison Elementary School, a limb is cut and falls onto the sidewalk. Editor's Note: I have lived on the Eastside, including Legion Way, for most of my 27 years in Olympia. Over the years, I have witnessed numerous near misses involving fallen limbs of this size.

The ENA also invites community members to donate for these and future replacement trees. A donation of $200 will pay for a single tree - donations of any amount are welcome. Visit to download a donation form or to donate online.

For more information about the city's Urban Forestry and Legion Way trees, contact Stacey Ray, City of Olympia Urban Forester, at 360.753.8046, or email

Above: Workers chip up the trees.

Above: The tree is gone and workers clean up leaves. First United Methodist Church is more visible.