Trees that line Peacock Hill Avenue Northwest were removed as a precaution this week after yet another tree fell from clear-cut property in north Gig Harbor.
The decision to remove the trees was made out of “an abundance of caution” after the tree fell across Peacock Hill Avenue on March 1, the city said.
The tree was the third tree to fall from the property, which was cleared this summer.
City of Gig Harbor officials and property owner Olympic Property Group agreed to remove the remaining large trees from the property.
Olympic was determined to see the trees removed before the March 9 windstorm hit, according to company president Jon Rose.
“The tree that fell, we had that looked at by an arborist and the determination was it’s good to go, leave it up,” Rose said. “Then that tree fell.”
An arborist visited the property again to review the remaining trees but ultimately Olympic officials felt it was safer to remove them all.
“Nobody can tell when a tree is going to stay or when it’s going to go,” Rose said.
The tree that fell, we had that looked at by an arborist and the determination was it’s good to go, leave it up. Then that tree fell.
Jon Rose, president of Olympic Property Group
When asked about the removal of the trees, City Administrator Ron Williams pointed a reporter to a prepared statement on the city’s website.
The statement states in part:
“Arborists for OPG (Olympic Property Group) and the City reviewed the remaining trees and concurred that out of an abundance of caution, removing the remaining large trees would be prudent. OPG worked very quickly to get loggers on their property immediately, and removed the trees before the big storm of March 9th.”
The company will work with the city on a tree replacement plan, according to the statement.
For the trees to be removed, the city had to waive a requirement that the developer maintain a 50-foot vegetative buffer between the development and the road, Williams said. The buffer was required in part for aesthetic reasons.
A series of wind gusts March 1 sent a tree across the busy thoroughfare that runs from the waterfront to the Pierce County line.
Two trees previously fell onto Borgen Boulevard from Heron’s Key, a senior-living community under development on the land.
Arborists for OPG (Olympic Property Group) and the City reviewed the remaining trees and concurred that out of an abundance of caution, removing the remaining large trees would be prudent.
City of Gig Harbor statement
Gig Harbor resident Jamie Fay was killed Aug. 29 when the car he was driving was hit by one of those trees. The tree that killed Fay had root rot, according to a report recently released by an arborist hired by Fay’s family to investigate his death.
The second tree fell two months later. No one was injured.
The tree that fell this month was not from the Heron’s Key property. It came from a portion of the property that will hold single-family homes at the corner of Borgen and Peacock Hill.
The two developments are next to each other on the same swath of land, which was formerly heavily forested.
A privately-maintained weather station off Peacock Hill Avenue just south of where the tree fell recorded wind gusts between 20 and 26 miles per hour around the time the tree fell March 1. The gusts were recorded between 1 and 3 p.m.
Gig Harbor Police reported at 3 p.m. via Twitter that Peacock Hill was closed between 107th Street Northwest and Borgen Boulevard for the downed tree. The road reopened roughly six hours later.