Plum trees next to Bainbridge library to be removed

The Bainbridge Public Library plans to remove the five Thundercloud plum trees next to the sidewalk of the library along Madison Avenue and High School Road.

The city of Bainbridge Island approved a clearing permit for the project Feb. 27.

The nonprofit for the library filed for a permit Feb. 21, and it was approved Feb. 26.

In its application, officials with the Bainbridge Public Library (the nonprofit that owns the library and grounds) said the removal of the trees was a safety issue.

According to an analysis by arborist Kate Bigelow in September, 2016, three of the trees along Madison Avenue have internal rot.

Some of the rot appears to be at areas where the trees have already been pruned, under where trunks are forked from the main stem. Rot was also discovered at the base of one of the trees.

Bigelow said the two trees in the planting strip next to High School Road have poor structure, as large pruning cuts were made to maintain clearance for pedestrians and cars parking in the library’s north lot.

Those two trees have the potential to fail at mid-trunk, while the other trees — especially the largest one next to Madison Avenue — may break at the base.

Bigelow said the trees should be removed so they don’t fall on walkers, into adjacent streets or drivers, vehicles in the parking lot or other landscaping.

She recommended replanting with trees such as Crimson Spire oak, Columnar weeping beech, Sourwood, Acer (maple) saccharum “Barret Cole,” Emerald Sentinel sweetgum or Frans Fontaine hornbeam.

According to the library, the plum trees will be taken out completely — root balls and all — and will be replaced with Venus dogwoods.

The work will be done as renovations continue on the library’s Japanese Haiku garden, which is being replanted as proper plants are sourced and placed.

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