Two more trees removed from Tiffany Loop

Tiffany Loop will reopen next week as trees and debris are removed from site

Julia Herman, Assistant News Editor

After the large elm tree fell on the Student Union Building (SUB) on the evening of Jan. 31, Seattle Pacific University’s Facility Management began to assess all the surrounding trees to see if they were at the same risk of falling.

On the morning of May 19, despite the spread of COVID-19, Seattle Tree Care came in and removed a tree that was just west of the large elm. When performing a stress test on the second tree, they found that it had moved too much.

“The Arborist recommended immediate tree removal. The City reviewed the Arborist’s findings and agreed that the tree needed to be removed,” Church said in an email.

In January, heavy winds and soaked soil weakened the roots of the elm tree. The tree weighed approximately between 35,000 to 40,000 and caused major damage to the roof of the mailbox and Collegium area of the SUB.

Tiffany Loop has been primarily closed with caution tape blocking off the surrounding area and large pieces of the tree sat for months, untouched.

SPU’s facilities bring in an arborist yearly to inspect the trees and test their condition and strength to prevent any risk of them falling or dying.

Following further inspection, another tree by Crawford will be removed on May 20. Facilities noticed it lost its leaves earlier than usual, so they had arborists once again come to SPU and inspect the tree.

Workers use chainsaws to cut a log into sections
After each section was brought to the ground, Seattle Tree Care workers sawed off branches and cut the logs into manageable sections. (Blake Dahlin)

“The Arborist evaluated the tree at that time and wanted to see if it would leaf out this spring, found that it did not leaf out, found the tree to be dead and will be removed tomorrow,” said Church on March 19.

Following the removal of the third tree, all of the tree debris and remaining logs will be removed from Tiffany Loop by the end of the week.

Facilities closed the loop to keep the SPU and surrounding community safe while they assessed the trees and the damage.

After months of SPU facilities working with contractors and arborists, Tiffany Loop will open fully. Facilities have been working with contractors to create a restoration plan for the roof of the SUB. They hope to receive an estimate and timelines shortly and from there they will start the repairs over the summer.

“Next week the Loop should be free of barricades and tape other than immediately by the SUB which still needs to be repaired,” said Church.

“The loop will be re-opened once all work is finished.”