Readers worry about dangerous trees and limbs

The in basket: Al and/or Barb Johnson and Clint Newell have asked about trees and limbs they think pose a hazard to drivers in a couple of places in South Kitsap and Bremerton.

“Traveling east on Mile Hill Drive past Colchester,” the Johnsons say, “there are several large limbs over the road forming an impressive archway. It looks like a potential danger if we get heavy snowfall or high winds. Why would these not be trimmed back?”

Clint sees a similar danger on Almira Drive in Bremerton.

“For years I have been very concerned about three trees at the intersection of Almira Drive and Clemens,” he said. “They lean completely over Almira Drive on a 35-40 degree angle. Three or four years ago, the city painted a big X on all three, and I assumed they would be taken down. On rainy or windy days, my wife and I avoid that street, fearing for our safety.”

The out basket: The Mile Hill Drive site does look dangerous should one or more of the large limbs snap and fall on passing traffic. There probably a lot of places in the county as bad, though.

The Almira Drive location is more impressive, as the trees actually are permanently bent at the base and lean outward precipitously. It’s surprising they’ve stood for the three or four years Clint describes.

A bigger surprise: Those trees aren’t as scary as they look, says Bremerton city street engineer Jerry Hauth. “The trees in question have been examined by an arborist and determined not to be an imminent threat. So they aren’t an issue at the present.”

He included an excerpt from the city ordinances that says dangerous trees are among the things property owners are responsible for rectifying, but added, “If it’s property we own (and there are several parcels that have been given to us) or a street end (S. Cambrian @ Coontz, for example), I send it to Public Works.

“We also have the street crew do work in places that isn’t sensible for the adjacent property owners to do it, for example, along 11th street east of Highland north of the west end of the Manette Bridge, and the separation area between upper and lower Shore Drive.”

Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works says of the canopy just past Colchester Drive (I think the main road becomes Southworth Drive, no longer Mile Hill Drive, at that spot), “We are aware of this location and monitor the area as a priority during storms. We do have policy that addresses danger trees, as well as roadside vegetation management, but no specific policy regarding overhead canopies.

“There are other locations in the county with similar canopies over the roadway. With the number of trees in Kitsap County the chance of limbs being blown down during a storm is a concern in all locations, including those with overhead canopies.”

 

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