Later this month, 18 poplar trees will be removed along the Ship Canal’s Fremont Cut. The work is being done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Natural Resource program, who say they will be replanting the trees next year.
“We’ll begin planting replacement trees in spring 2019 as the next step of phase 3,” Natural Resource Manager for the Ship Canal Connie Grant said. “The new trees will be about 12-feet-tall and typically grow two to three feet per year.”
The tree removal is part of a multi-year rehabilitation program, which began in 2001. Broken into four phases, the work will continue until 2030. In Phase 1, the Corps removed 22 poplars and planted 53; Phase 2 was in 2010, and included the removal of 32 poplars and the planting of 40. They are currently in Phase 3, in which they’ll remove and replant 18 poplars, maintaining as many existing young trees as possible. Phase 4 will be in 2030, during which they’ll remove 22, and replant 21 poplars.
“Our plan to restore the aging poplar colonnade in a historically appropriate manner is comprehensive, practical and environmentally sensitive,” Grant said.
The calendar for work is still being organized, and they say a portion of the Burke-Gilman Trail may be temporarily closed during the tree removal. The work could start as early as Oct. 8.