Cedar tree at center of controversy in Wedgwood back on chopping block this week

SEATTLE — Concerned neighbors and activists continue to protest the planned removal of a massive western red cedar in northeast Seattle.

The tree in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood is on a lot slated for new housing and can be cut down due to what some call a gap in the existing city code.

City officials told us the tree will be cut down on Thursday.

Some say that because of its size and age, the cedar should be preserved.

That’s what a tree-sitter who goes by the name “Droplet” believes.

He climbed up the tree last week to keep it from being cut down.

“This is not one person’s fight. There’s a whole backing of people who are doing really important work to make sure this tree is protected,” said Droplet.

The initial plan was to remove the tree last week, but the city said the required paperwork wasn’t in order. A three-day public notice is now posted at the site.

We spoke with people who don’t want to see that happen.

“Without the trees, it would be hot, it would be unpleasant, and it would just be kind of a nightmare,” said neighbor Hans Schiefer.

“The main point is that you know we can have trees like this and we can have growth in housing growth. It’s not one or the other,” said neighbor Judy Akalaitis.

Supporters say the tree should be spared because it is one of fewer than 6,000 cedars in the city with a trunk diameter of at least 2-and-a-half feet.