Excess growth in Spokane’s Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden is being removed this winter under a $35,000 grant from the Friends of Manito organization.
The project on the west side of Manito Park got under way recently and will include the removal of 17 trees that are unhealthy, structurally unsound or are being stunted by larger more vigorous trees.
The Friends organization also has set aside money to replace some landscape trees in the park.
The thinning and pruning project is intended to ensure that remaining trees will have enough light and space to grow in a healthy manner. It is part of a longer-term management plan for the Japanese Garden.
According to the city Parks Department, the garden was featured recently in an article on CBS.com, which described the Japanese Garden as one of the most beautiful in the world.
The garden was completed in 1974 and symbolizes the friendship of Spokane and its Japanese sister city of Nishinomiya.
Nancy Goodspeed, parks spokeswoman, said the garden was designed beginning in 1967 by Nagao Sakuri, a landscape architect who at one time was in charge of the Imperial Palace grounds in Japan.
Construction began with a pool and waterfall in 1970. In 1973, Sakuri suffered a stroke, so the city turned to two landscape architects from Kobe, Japan, to complete the garden.
Last month, the Park Board renamed the garden in honor of Ed Tsutakawa, a prominent Spokane businessman and benefactor who championed the Sister City movement and bridged Spokane’s relationship with Nishinomiya. He died in 2006 at age 85 and had been a printer by trade. He established Litho-Art Printers Inc.