Community Post

Plum Tree Park all spruced up

Last summer we reported on how neighbors around Plum Tree Park were upset with the illegal activity that took place within its heavily wooded perimeter. The city came in and fixed that after repeated requests from those neighbors, and now that Spring is here it’s cool to see the final result.

We happened by on our dog walk yesterday and found the namesake plum tree in full bloom and new plants starting to take root along the retaining wall and pathways the city added. But the biggest change came from the removal of the dense trees along the front edge, and now you can actually see that there’s a nice children’s play area sitting in the middle of the park.

Here’s the before and after:

0 thoughts on “Plum Tree Park all spruced up

  1. crime sucks. I understand why this had to be done, but what a bummer that all of that nice cool shade is now gone.

  2. Ugghhh!!! How could those whiny neighbors think that chopping down those beautiful trees is an improvement. It looks like a scraggly strip mall with sickly plants now.

    If they had problems with druggies, whores, and bang-bangers hanging out in the wooded area at night they should have installed lighting, or motion-detector sprinkler systems, or surveillance cameras – or hired security guards to chase the scum away.

    Most likely it was their own wanton teenagers out under the trees smoking pot and engaging in illicit sexual behavior.

  3. put up a ground cover? I thought Seattle city policy was that trees were an important part of our fair city’s emission abatement.

  4. the name seems a bit ironic now; it looks like only one or two plum trees are left. (from the pic, the pretty blooming tree on the planting strip looks more like a Japanese cherry.) my parents used to help maintain that park back in the ’70s so I spent many happy afternoons there as a kid. it looks like the fun pilings are gone too. sad…

  5. There has to be a better way to curb crime than to cut down all the lovely greenery in our city! Great, replace a nice shady hillside with an UGLY, UGLY, UGLY chip filled retaining wall, probably planted with prickly plants and a big plastic play slide that will probably get destroyed in a year or two. They may has well have sold it and slapped a couple of ugly condo buildings on it. What a shame.

  6. I have many sketches of those old twisted plum trees. When I first moved to Seattle my roommate and I went to this park and gathered some of the plums that had fallen. Later that day I picked a ton of blackberries and gathered pears that had fallen in the street. I remember thinking that my new city was absolutely magical with such abundance and beauty.

    Now it’s gutted and lacks its namesake. This makes me really sad. I really hope it’s worth it and actually does decrease the criminal activity there.

  7. How did they manage to miss that flowering cherry tree? Better return with the chain saw —

  8. Clear-cutting was the city’s solution? Yuck. I’m sending this story’s URL to Dewey Potter at Parks and Rec. At the least, they ought to hear our raspberries.

  9. I agree with everyone else– this is really ugly. It was such a great spot before the cutting and now it looks just terrible. Home Depot renovation is spot on. That is really a shame. Sheesh.

  10. What happened to goal of increasing our urban tree canopy? How can we complain about a neighbor cutting one tree for view when the city does something like this? What a shame! These photos should be widely distributed.

  11. The vandals at Parks Dept responsible for this should serve time at hard labor…maybe planting trees?

  12. This looks terrible! Like you accidentally reversed the before and after photos!

  13. the irony of the name and its removal of the namesake tree is surreal. Someone should definitely lose their job for this.

  14. What a shame. On the bright side, from the looks of the trees that were killed and removed, it will only take about 30 years to recover the value of the lost trees.

    So this means, I will be able to enjoy the value of trees in this city park when I am 72. (I just feel for those who are ten or more years older than me…if they never experienced the value of a treed park in this neighborhood…they likely will now never get the chance.)

    We need people who understand the value of trees – and especially the value of mature trees in City of Seattle parks – weighing in on these important decisions.

    Kirk Prindle

  15. Perhaps the neighbors real intent was to improve their view. Like other responders, I am appalled especially with city officials either due to lack of oversight or venality who allowed this travesty to occur at all.

  16. I used to live near Plum Street Park and I never saw a single child play there. It was a dark park that no one knew existed and it was scary. I agree the City overdid the cutting and the concrete but I also welcome some open space in the neighborhood and the elimination of a crime spot. I hope that when the plantings mature it will be an aesthetic park that kids will use and won’t give us the creeps on our evening walks.

  17. The data from studies shows that less trees means more crime.

    Our Seattle City Arborist Nolan Rundquist was definitely not consulted for this clearcut! He forwarded this information in 2003 to me when Tacoma was cutting trees in parks “to reduce crime” then.
    And this specific flyer:

    ask Nolan at

    Nolan Rundquist, City Arborist
    Seattle Department of Transportation
    700 5th Avenue, Suite 3800
    Seattle, WA 98104-5043
    email: [email protected]
    Phone: 206-615-0957

  18. Scary during daylight hours? I never lived on this street, but having used other parks without any shade, I see a desert. This is what I left behind in Scottsdale.

  19. What a shame! We live in this neighborhood and for years my children and I used to go to Plum Tree Park in the fall and collect the most delicious plums. We would make pie, freeze some plum sauce and make jam. This park was so lovely I can’t believe it’s been destroyed so badly. The new look of the park is unwelcoming and now concrete seems to be the dominant element of the park instead of the old trees! When talking to some workers in the fall, they had assured me that the plum trees were going to be replaced. Where are the trees???