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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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RIP, Comstock elm

The City Parks Department cut down an elm in Comstock Park Friday. It was a traumatic event, or so one might assume from the press release issued announcing the tree's demise.

In it we find out the tree's age (60-70 years), its species (Siberian elm), pre-removal treament (airspading of the roots to determine damage) and just about everything but its name. (We'll call it Ivan.)

Ivan's roots were damaged by an irrigation project. The department had hoped to save him, but alas, the air spading revealed too much damage. Coupled with his proximity to a retaining wall and the sidewalk, it was das vidana Ivan.

Some of his comrades might get the ax -- well, probably the chain saw -- too. To read the whole press release, go inside the blog.




Closer examination of trees in Comstock Park that potentially were damaged during installation of irrigation piping has resulted in a decision today to remove at least one of the trees for safety reasons.

The tree is a Siberian Elm.  It is likely 60-70 years old, as are the majority of trees in Comstock Park.

It was hoped that taking a closer look at the roots of the tree might have rendered a more positive decision. 

Air spading this morning revealed the network of roots had been damaged during the mechanized and hand trenching for the water lines.  Additionally, the tree is next to a retaining wall creating a potentially limited root system and its proximity to the sidewalk, street and overhead power lines meant it could possibly be a safety hazard.


The decision to remove the tree was made by two certified tree arborists who work for the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.  Their decision was supported by additional certified arborists who assisted in the evaluation.

In the coming days more trees at Comstock Park will be examined to determine the extent of potential damage from the trenching in two different construction areas.

The Parks and Recreation Department has re-examined specifications and the monitoring process to prevent similar damage during construction projects in the future.

The Parks and Recreation Department has also committed to the Comstock Neighborhood to plant three new trees in the Park for every damaged tree that may need to be taken down.

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