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Don't demolish Doug 35

 

A single-family home on NE 35th Ave in Portland’s Concordia neighborhood has been slated for demolition. The developer, Vic Remmers, is planning on building two homes in this lot. As it so happens, there’s a Douglas Fir tree – hereto forth referred to as Doug 35 – on the lot that is also very likely slated for destruction.

Before we go any further, please know that this is imminent – it’s not something that might happen 2 months from now; it can happen any day, any hour! The home is already in process of being demolished and Doug 35 can go down anytime. We need your help - right now - to save Doug 35!

 So why is it important to not cut Doug 35 down?

1) Doug 35 has a diameter of 30”. According to Seattle’s tree protection ordinance (DR16-2008), a Douglas Fir tree is considered “exceptional” when it reaches a diameter of 30” and thus qualifies for preservation. Granted, this is Portland and not Seattle, but Doug 35 doesn’t care which city it happened to grow up in – it’s being cut down.

2) In 2011, the Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry division conducted a study of trees in the Concordia neighborhood. They counted 4,636 trees in the neighborhood. Out of that, trees in the pine family accounted for a total of just 2.1% (96 trees). This includes Doug firs, firs, pines, spruces and cedars. The actual count of Doug Firs isn’t listed but even if we assume an even distribution, that’s about 20 Doug firs in the entire neighborhood. If Doug 35 is taken down, that’s one of out 20.

3) The same study also found that only about 1% of all trees in the neighborhood had a diameter of 30-36 inches. That 1% includes Doug 35.

4) A recommendation from the study: Retain existing large trees. Benefits and time are lost when older trees are removed and replaced with smaller and younger tree species. We don’t know what kind of tree(s) will replace Doug 35 – if any.

5) Need concrete $-based data? The study estimates that on average, each tree provides $67 worth of annual benefits. This includes – but isn’t limited to – energy conservation, air quality improvement, CO2 reduction, stormwater control and property value increase.

6) I’m not an arborist but according to the International Society of Arboriculture, there’s a relatively simple formula to get a rough age estimate for a tree. Using their formula of diameter X growth factor (which for Doug Firs is 5), we get an approximate age of 150 years. That means that Abe Lincoln was probably still alive when Doug 35 started to sprout. Even if we go with an age of 100 years, WW1 had just started.

7) On a personal note – I can see Doug 35 from my kitchen window every day. It’s a reassuring presence: tall, majestic, grand and reverent. In a world where things become obsolete faster than you can power-on your smartphone, Doug 35 is a valuable anchor, reminding you of what’s important.

There are ways to keep the tree and still build the home that Vic’s planning – this can be a win-win for all involved if he agrees to discuss it with us. Please sign this petition to let him know that you stand for Doug 35. Thank you!

This petition was delivered to:
  • Vic Remmers


    Doug 35 started this petition with a single signature, and now has 93 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.