Be prepared for Burke-Gilman Trail detour in Lake Forest Park starting Monday

We compiled this map based on the press release. Click here to view on Google Maps

We compiled this map based on the press release. Red is the trail closure area. The blue and orange lines are the two detour routes. Click here to view on Google Maps

King County Parks will remove 40 poplar trees along the Burke-Gilman Trail in Lake Forest Park starting next week.

This work will require trail detours for two weeks, so be prepared. Luckily, the detours don’t look bad, using nearby low-traffic streets.

A portion of one of the trees fell onto the highway in an August windstorm, King County Parks says. When they looked into the problem, they determined the trees were dying and posing a hazard. They will be replaced with 40 trees of species that are “more suitable to the locations.”

Details from King County:

Beginning Oct. 26, King County Parks will set up temporary detours around segments of the Burke-Gilman Trail in Lake Forest Park while crews begin removing 40 hazardous Lombardy Poplar trees.

The hazardous trees are located along the Burke-Gilman Trail between Ballinger Way Northeast and Northeast 165th Street in Lake Forest Park. After a portion of one of the trees fell onto State Route 522 during an August windstorm, King County Parks investigated other poplars along this stretch of trail. The 40 trees were assessed as dying and a threat to public safety.

The trailside trees will be replaced later this year at a ratio of 1:1 with tree species that are more suitable to the location.

The temporary closure will take place mid-day Monday through Friday and last for two work weeks. The trail is expected to be open in the evenings, with closings lasting from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There are two trail segments that will be affected. To minimize impacts to adjoining neighborhoods, only one trail section will be closed at a time.

One detour will start at Northeast 165th Street and route trail users along Beach Drive Northeast before rejoining the trail at Northeast 170th Street. The other detour will start at Brentwood Place Northeast and route trail users along Northeast 171st Street before rejoining trail at Northeast 170th Street.

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2 Responses to Be prepared for Burke-Gilman Trail detour in Lake Forest Park starting Monday

  1. Ben P says:

    I wonder what type of tree is “more suitable” for the location.

    • jay says:

      Are those regular quotes around “more suitable” or “scare quotes”? I can understand opposing getting rid of something just because it is “less suitable” in someone’s opinion,, after all, most people would think my bicycle is “less suitable” for transporting one person than a two+ ton SUV . But sometimes a thing really is objectively unsuitable (for example that two+ ton SUV).

      Probably a great number of other trees would be better, it seems those non-native Lombardy poplar are just generally terrible.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populus_nigra :
      “‘Italica’. The true Lombardy poplar, selected in Lombardy, northern Italy, in the 17th century. The growth is fastigiate (having the branches more or less parallel to the main stem), with a very narrow crown. Coming from the Mediterranean region, it is adapted to hot, dry summers and grows poorly in humid conditions, being short-lived due to fungal diseases. It is a male clone.[9]
      As a widely selected species chosen by golf architects[where?] in the 1960s, it soon became apparent that the Poplar’s very invasive roots destroyed land drainage systems. Decades later the same courses were removing Poplars stands wholesale. At around 40 to 50 years this short lived variety starts shedding branches and are very likely to be blown over in high winds, each successive tree lost exposing neighbouring trees creating a domino effect.”

      A native species might be nice.

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