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Jesse helps Ballard man get city tree taken down


Thanks to Ballard Tree Service, Steven Brinkerhoff’s nightmare is finally coming down.

Brinkerhoff contacted me last month asking if these two dead trees on City of Seattle property were his responsibility. The trees were hanging over the street and could hit the nearby daycare if they fell. Seattle city arborist Nolan Rundquist gave Brinkerhoff the bad news.

“We’re supposed to administer city code, which says that property owner is responsible for dealing with it so, I have to put the property owner on notice,” said Rundquist.

If a tree is on city property-and it wasn’t planted by the city-the property owner closest to the tree is held responsible. That meant Brinkerhoff had to come up with $4,000 to remove the trees.  But Ballard Tree Service was willing to remove the trees for free.

“I feel a relief,” said Brinkeroff. “I don’t have to worry about somebody’s truck out here or somebody unloading their kid to go to day care. I think my neighbors are appreciative.”

However, though one tree story has ended another one has taken root.

Travis Stanley Jones owns Mulleady’s Irish Pub in Magnolia.  He’s responsible for a dead tree on city property next to building and it could cost him thousands of dollars to remove it.

“It’s a big dead tree, it’s an eyesore,” said Jones.

Brinkerhoff and Jones do agree on one thing – The next thing that should be chopped and grounded into pieces is the city’s tree policy.

“I think it’s the city’s responsibility, safety, not the homeowner. They just switched the blame, so somebody else has to take care of it,” said Brinkerhoff.

And I personally would like to thank Ballard Tree Service.

Read here Jesse Investigates a Seattle ordinance that could cost homeowners thousands

Click here for a map that shows building outlines, parcels, critical areas and zoning.

Click here for more information about the city’s tree regulations.

Click here for a map of the trees for which the city is responsible.

*According to the city, 99% of street trees that are the city’s responsibility appear on this map so if it is in the right of way and not mapped, it is the adjacent property owner’s responsibility to maintain.


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