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Downtown takes a look at which trees to replace or remove

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The Wenatchee Downtown Association marked some downtown trees with red ribbons on Thursday, to show the city which ones they’d like removed from Wenatchee Avenue. Some other trees got green ribbons to show they’d like to have the trees removed and replaced with a different variety of tree.

WENATCHEE — Business leaders tied red and green ribbons to downtown trees this week to show which ones should be replaced and which should be permanently removed.

The trees were tagged by the Wenatchee Downtown Association on Thursday as part of ongoing planning for a rehabilitation project next spring in the city’s center.

The project will repave Wenatchee Avenue between Yakima and Second streets, but may also include new landscaping, street furniture and lighting. Plans also call for re-routing truck traffic away from downtown and adjusting traffic flow.

As part of the project, businesses would also like to do something about the trees along the avenue, some of which are unhealthy, overgrown and blocking visibility of buildings.

Red ribbons went on trees that the WDA think should be removed and not replaced. Green ribbons were for trees that should be removed and replaced with a different variety of trees.

Public Works Director Dan Frazier said the improvement project, slated to begin next spring, will address about 20 of the nearly 90 trees in the project area.

Some of the trees may be replaced with smaller ones. Others may be removed and possibly flower beds, benches or outdoor seating will replace them.

Over a number of years, all of the trees will eventually be removed and some will be replaced.

City Councilwoman Karen Rutherford asked Frazier at Thursday’s council meeting why the city didn’t just take out all the trees at once “and start all over again.”

Frazier said, “It would look like a clear-cut forest if you did it all at once”

The WDA evaluated the trees with the help of a local consultant.

Frazier said the city and businesses will work together on a plan for the trees. That will include looking at how trees that are replanted should be located and whether they should be spaced evenly, grouped together or something else.

By putting up the ribbons, Frazier said the WDA was “trying to get all the business owners engaged. They’re saying, ‘We’d like to have your buy-in.”

Michelle McNiel: 664-7152

Reach Michelle McNiel at 509-664-7152 or . Follow her on Twitter at @MichelMcNielWW.