Environmental activist goes to new heights to save 80-foot tree in Seattle neighborhood


The Western Redcedar tree was to be cut down to make room for more housing, but that has been temporarily delayed.

SEATTLE — A fight to keep a Western Redcedar standing in the Wedgwood neighborhood reaching new heights.

“I’m so happy that someone is taking that action. I applaud their courage because it’s not something I know how to do,” said Apollo Moonfire, who lives in the neighborhood.

Neighbors stopped Friday to show support and look at the person perched in the tree protesting its plan to be chopped down.

“This tree has provided clean air and clean shelter for plenty of animals and humans over the years and it’s our responsibly to do what we can to help it thrive as well,”

Environmental activist Droplet climbed up the Redcedar Thursday night after the news it could be cut down Friday to build multiple homes on the lot.

The tree can not be cut down yet because no tree service provider has applied for a public notice, which is required by the city. A tree public notice is not a permit but a posting requirement that needs to occur prior to a tree service provider conducting any commercial tree work.

“As long as it takes to guarantee protection from this tree being cut,” Droplet said.

“One of the reasons I like living in this neighborhood is because we have a very strong tree canopy. I stand out on my deck and I applaud and greet every morning these trees,” Moonfire said.

Activists of all ages came to fight for trees.

“If you want to keep Seattle green, Emerald City, then stop cutting trees down and trees like this,” said 10-year-old Aria Mingus-Shah.

“I mean architects are smart, good ones and they can find a way to work around that and honor that tree and the legacy that it has let alone the environmental impact,” Moonfire said.

Seattle City Councilmember Alex Pederson issued a statement on the matter that read, in part:

“Seattle city government approving plans by a for-profit developer to chop down such exceptional trees is additional evidence that City leaders are failing to protect our dwindling tree canopy, and recent legislation that claims to protect more trees potentially worsens the outlook for our urban environment in the face of climate change heat domes.”

As Droplet had a bird’s eye view he’s asking everyone to come take a look.

“When I climbed up here the immediate goal was simply to protect this living being but I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see all these neighbors connecting with each other and the tree and my friends,” Droplet said.

“I encourage anyone to swing on by Wedgwood because what you’re seeing through the camera doesn’t do justice to just how magnificent this tree is,” said Droplet.

The Snoqualmie Tribe posted to its Facebook page and said the Redcedar is a Culturally Modified Tree and are archaeological resources that are protected under state law. They said Tribes, including Snoqualmie, should be consulted when proposed action would harm or impact a CMT, yet no tribe was consulted on the permitting for this tree.

Snoqualmie Tribe did say they are happy the removal is delayed but said this is not the end of the fight.