Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Heritage Yellowwood Tree


8/23/23 Yellowwood tree, Wallingford neighborhood

I don’t know how old it is, but this yellowwood tree in the Wallingford neighborhood is so huge that I had to cross the street to see all of it at a scale that I could sketch. Even then, I used a full sketchbook spread to make it fit well. The house next to it – windows boarded up with plywood – will be demolished soon. Its traditional Craftsman style is typical of Wallingford. A four-story townhouse will replace it.

Designated a “heritage” tree – defined as a tree of exceptional size, form, or rarity – this yellowwood is, in theory, protected. Fewer than 500 such trees still exist in Seattle. Environmental groups are concerned that even if the tree is not cut down, the tree could be harmed as has happened to other trees in similar situations.

As I sketched that dark, cool pool of shade beneath the tree at midday, I thought about the many decades of cooling that old tree had offered to the families that had lived in that house – families that probably also appreciated its beauty. I hope the new residents will, too.

This sign was posted on the lot of the planned construction where the yellowwood grows.


  1. Wow...what a wonderful tree! I hope the new construction doesn't affect it. Love the sketch!


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