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22 trees to be removed Feb. 18 from Natural Resources Building

Nineteen damaged Monterey shore pine trees will be removed from the north side of the Natural Resources Building on Feb. 18.

A contractor will also remove three incense cedar trees that day from the southeast corner of the intersection of Washington Street and 11th Avenue, near the Natural Resources Building (NRB).

The pine trees, which are native to the coastal areas from Alaska to northern California, have been damaged by insect pests and the January 2012 ice storm.

The pines slated for removal are growing in above-ground concrete planter boxes near the northwest corner of the building, in beds above the 11th Avenue entrance to the parking garage and in a row parallel to 11th Avenue.

Removal of the pines in the planter boxes nearest the building will require a two-hour closure (approximately), from about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., of the Washington Street entrance of the NRB loading dock tunnel.

The work will also require the closure of a few parking stalls in the visitor parking lot on the P1 level and part of the sidewalk along Washington Street.

The cedars, which are native to Oregon and California, are being removed because they are in poor condition due to overcrowding in the space and they partially block sightlines for pedestrians and drivers using this intersection.

Arbor Care Tree Service of Astoria, Oregon, will start the work at about 8 a.m. and should be done by about 2 p.m. The contractor will use a chipper and stump grinder, as well as chainsaws, to do this work. The company will also remove one white birch tree from the south side of the Pritchard building.

Enterprise Services will not replace the trees removed from the NRB planter boxes. The boxes do not have fall-protection for workers making it difficult to maintain trees and taller shrubs.

Instead, the department will plant medium and low-growing native shrubs that will not require regular maintenance in the boxes. The shore pines along 11th Street, on either side of the garage entry, will not be replaced immediately. The department is still researching the best replacement species for this area.