Letter to the editor: Requesting an emergency interim tree code ordinance


“Big Red,” a healthy 100-year-old tree at 1024 5th Ave. S., is threatened for removal for no good reason. It is a beautiful tree standing tall welcoming residents and visitors to our Tree City USA.

There is a gap in the current Edmonds tree code policy that quite freely allows for the removal of landmark/exceptional trees simply by application, and in the case of Big Red, that lack of protection threatens a tree with a significant place in Edmonds

Read the history here.

I would ask that the Edmonds City Council pass an immediate interim ordinance to the tree code that would halt the removal of all landmark/exceptional trees, with emergency exception, until the updated tree code is presented for review by city council. The city’s planning and development department’s 2024 work schedule, shown to city council on Feb. 20 by Director Susan McLaughlin, indicates a Q1 “Tree Canopy Goal” and Q4 “Tree Code Updates.”

There is a pending “clearing & grading permit” application to remove Big Red, PLN2024-0005, on file at the city planning and development department, though no action has been taken at this point. A May 1 date has been indicated, however.

It would be a sad thing for our city to lose Big Red, or any other landmark/exceptional trees, between now and Q4 if the Q4 “Tree Code Updates” recommend protection of those very same trees.

Big Red’ – a living asset of our Edmonds.

Dennis L. Weaver

  1. I sure hope the CC does exactly what you are asking them to do Dennis. An Interim Ordinance until they have to make a final decision on the tree code updates. Save Big Red and any other trees up for destruction that have no disease or reason to be removed at this time. I am sorry Dennis L Weaver that this is going so far. I don’t understand why this Dept is so hell bent on taking that tree down? How many others in Edmonds have they approved for removing?

  2. This will unfortunately become common place when the high-density plan goes ahead and developers start building those five-and-up storey buildings and will be allowed to cut established trees and plant some shrubs to “compensate”.

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