Most Common Trees in Seattle and Their Possible Issues
When was the last time you recognized the trees in your Seattle neighborhood? There are good reasons to do so, as trees provide homes to animals, absorb carbon dioxide, moderate temperatures, release oxygen and beautify our communities.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, you enjoy some of the greenest neighborhoods. In fact, Seattle is the 7th densest city in the world for trees. An estimated 4.35 million trees and tree-like shrubs are growing in Seattle, which breaks down to about seven trees for each person.
Let’s explore the most common tree species found here in Seattle and some of the issues to be aware of. By maintaining our trees, we can keep them safe and healthy for years to come.
Native Seattle Tree Species
- Douglas Fir. The Douglas Fir produces a durable and workable wood, making it a suitable candidate for construction projects. Douglas Fir trees sometimes turn brown due to weather-related stress. Younger trees are more likely to suffer from this browning or dieback, and in extreme cases, the whole tree can die.
- Western Red Cedar. Western Red Cedar trees have a strong but desirable scent. They make excellent privacy screens with graceful drooping branches and shaggy gray bark. When they are young, Red Cedar trees can be susceptible to root rot if planted where drainage is poor, and flagging (browning of the leaves) in drought conditions.
- Big Leaf Maple. A beautiful tree, Big Leaf Maples turn a glowing yellow in the fall. The leaves are huge and can stretch 11 inches across! Big Leaf Maple trees also have winged seed pods that fall off and spin like helicopters to the ground – kids love them! Many insects feed on these trees, and older Maples are susceptible to rots and root pathogens, which can cause unstable and dangerous trees.
- Red Alder. Red Alder trees have thin, smooth bark and flowers that are similar to pinecones. These trees fare best near the coast where they get the proper moisture, otherwise sunscald and heat can cause them to die.
- Western Hemlock. Western Hemlock trees have short needles and tiny cones. With graceful branches, Western Hemlock trees can live for 900 years or more. Unfortunately, they are under attack from the hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive sucking insect native to East Asia.
What to do When Your Seattle Trees are Unhealthy
If you notice that your trees are not healthy, the first step is to find out what’s causing the problem. Are they under attack from a pest? Are the branches turning brown? Could it be weather-related stress? By consulting with an arborist, you can get the information you need to move forward with a solution.
In some cases, the diseased tree needs to be removed to prevent other trees from getting sick and to prevent damage to structures or injury to people should the tree shed branches or fall. At Arborwell, when we remove a tree, we like to replant a tree. We can talk about replacing with a different type of tree that will thrive on your property.
If we can save your tree, we will do so. This may include solving a pest problem or providing the tree with extra nutrients. We can also make problem trees more tolerable for your home or business, such as by solving fruit production issues. And, if your trees need protection from disease and damage, our arborists are proud to offer proactive wellness plans.
If you have any questions about the trees in your Seattle neighborhood, contact Arborwell today. We will be happy to diagnose your trees and find the best solutions to preserve them.