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October 26, 2017

Pioneer Square street blocked by fallen tree

Photo by Benjamin Minnick [enlarge]

A 40-year-old tree in the median of First Avenue South in Pioneer Square fell yesterday afternoon at the intersection with Yesler Way, blocking southbound traffic and drawing a crowd.

Urban forestry crews from Seattle Department of Transportation had to wait for King County Metro to de-energize transmission lines that the tree was leaning on before they could remove the tree. The road reopened late yesterday afternoon.

A city spokesman said the London plane tree fell due to root failure, but he couldn't attribute that to the recent drought.

The tree was one of the oldest on the strip just south of the Pioneer Square pergola. A Google image from a year ago showed the city had replaced several of aging trees on the strip with younger trees.

The spokesman said the tree was inspected last month. The city plans to replace it.

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