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Monday, January 2, 2012

Four Huge Sequoias Cut at Shorecrest HS

Last Thursday, neighbors were shocked to see four enormous Giant Sequoia trees being cut next to the existing Tennis Courts at the northern edge of the Shorecrest Campus.

Four stumps are left after Sequoias
were cut at Shorecrest HS. The remaining five are in backround.

The school is in the early stages of its remodeling project, but the site plan for the Shorecrest remodel does not show any construction being planned for that section of the campus.

The four Giant Sequoias were nearly half of a long row of the conifers which had bordered the tennis courts at the top of the hill at the northern edge of the campus. They appeared to have been the largest of the total 9 trees which had graced this hillside. One had an over 3ft diameter.
Neighborhood forest steward Charlie Brown views
the huge stump left at the scene.
It is very unclear why these trees were cut since the area next to the Theater and Tennis Courts is not shown in the Shoreline School District Site Plans for Shorecrest. Both of the Shoreline HS are being remodeled after voters approved the Bonds in 2006 and 2010. It was not possible to contact the district of course over the holiday weekend. 

There are five sequoias remaining at the crest of the hill where the tennis courts are located. The fencing on one side of the tennis courts has been removed and it appears they are slated for a parking purpose. 

If citizens would like to ask the school board why these trees were cut, the School Board members can be contacted here.

Neighbors did call the City of Shoreline CRT (Customer Response Team), and were told that information would be sought on why the trees were cut.  The SSD did receive permits of course from the City to proceed with their projects. We are not sure whether the cutting of these trees was included in this permit. Further inquiries will be made when City and SSD offices are open Tuesday.

Shoreline City Council can be contacted through the City website. 
At the City council meeting, Jan 9th, the Council is scheduled to discuss the upcoming proposal to create a "tree board" to institute the "Tree City USA" designation. The Council has discussed putting a stronger tree ordinance in place but last year opted to leave only "voluntary" measures in place with regard to attempts to increase the Urban Forest Canopy goals.

Questions about this incident can be directed to the City of Shoreline Customer Response Team which can be contacted here.
Five remaining Sequoia Trees on Shorecrest Campus
The loss of these huge trees seems like an incredible waste and needless given that the site plans for the school remodel show no building will take place there. These trees appeared to have been at least 40 years old. Conifers like these Sequoias, provide numerous well documented benefits and services to the community including but not limited to, shade, air and water quality, carbon sequestration and of course beauty. Sequoias are native to California but do grow in the northwest successfully. The Giant Sequoias
(Sequoiadendrons) located in California are considered to be the largest living things on earth. 


  1. This horribly misguided action MUST be challenged, protested, and punished. It is a "crime against nature" to remove such important trees. Shoreline is (was) so fortunate to have these old giant trees growing there. Please, Shoreline citizens, demand answers and push for stronger ordinances for protection for trees. I don't know if the recently elected city council members give a hoot, but it's "we, the people" who must press for proper environmental decisions and actions.

  2. My HUGE thanks to Janet Way and "Of Paramount Importance" for covering this important story. Thanks also to Gini Paulsen, my Shoreline friend who forwarded the story to me.

  3. This is horrible. I bet if you dig around you'll find that those trees were planted in some kind of ceremony and probably incommemoration of something.

    Maybe we should make 2012 the year of urban tree education. This certainly has been no 'holiday' for trees!

  4. Here we go again! Citizens who truly care about the trees in Shoreline need to be asking questions -

    Why do we still consider trees significant only when they are 12" (deciduous) or 8" (evergreen) in diameter when other local cities recognize all trees as significant at 6" in diameter?

    What is the real reason the City Council is unwilling to revise the tree code?

    Why is Tree City USA going to only address city owned trees (which do not include these sequoias)?

    Shoreline has always been considered a city in the trees; the reason many moved here. So why are we now quietly watching as the trees are being removed without any accounting?

    See for yourself. Code 20.50.290 at:

  5. Thanks All,
    So far, a great a response of outrage from citizens and readers.In just two hours, I've now heard from at least a dozen good folks who are outraged. I encourage ALL to please send letters and comments to the City and School Board demanding and explanation, apology and justice.

    Keep it up!!

  6. A tree climbing class held in the remaining grove of Sequoiadendron trees would be a good way for the facility to be part of the curriculum.

    An urbanizing population needs it's children to be taught Recreational Tree Climbing in Physical Education classes to perpetuate the ubiquitous experience the adults had when they were children. Photos of climbing in Nelder Grove, in Californias Sierra National Forest are here.

  7. Did these trees have commercial value? If so what became of them? hmmmmmmm Lots of unanswered questions.........