The historic Sequoia tree – which may have been over 100 years old – located in the former King Buffet lot at 137 SW 160th was cut down Monday, April 28. Here are before and after pics (click images to see larger versions): MONDAY, APRIL 28: SequoiaCut042814-1 FRIDAY, APRIL 25: As we previously reported, the lots on SW 160th that formerly housed Herr Lumber and King Buffet are being razed to build a new, 16,882 square foot CVS Pharmacy. “I recall being told the tree was planted in the late 1800’s or very early 1900’s,” Highline Historical Society Executive Director Cyndi Upthegrove told The B-Town Blog. “I don’t know that it is one of the largest, or oldest, but it does have a history that can be appreciated. Sequoias are not really common here and this one reflects early years of good care, though not recent good care. They live for a long time. It’s too bad they cannot put a parking lot around it, rather than remove it.” “The owner has satisfactorily addressed Burien’s significant tree retention policies which require the retention of at least 5% of the significant trees currently located on commercially zoned project sites,” Community Development Director Chip Davis told The B-Town Blog. “All of the remaining significant trees are located on the southern portion of the site and will not be affected by construction of the pharmacy. As mitigation for the removal of the Sequoia, the owner will be planting a replacement Sequoia on the western property line and landscaping plans call for the planting of more than 60 Douglas fir, Maple, Crape Myrtle, Linden and Flower Pear trees in the new building and parking areas.” This site once housed Herr Lumber, and had previously served as a sawmill for many years prior to the family’s opening of the yard in the 1970’s. HELP US ‘CROWDCOUNT’ IT! We’re seeking some “Crowdcounting” help to determine the age of this tree – here’s a link to a very large, high-res pic showing the cut tree – please click on it (or download) and see how many rings you can count (please email your count # to!)


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9 replies on “Historic Sequoia tree cut down”

  1. Better a drug store where I can get Pepto for the nasty food they used to serve at Kings Buffet.

  2. That tree was old when Highline Ambulance was there in the early 1960’s. There was a duck pond where King’s Buffet was and the apartments next door.
    I had heard that the owners of the property permanently protected the tree by clouding the title. Home Depot wanted it removed and wouldn’t build their parking lot around it, the owners wouldn’t cave. What happened?

  3. Very sad to see the beautiful old tree cut down. There are so few of this magnitude to admire. The little trees that are planted to mitigate the bleak look of asphalt do very little.
    The city of Burien should do a great deal more to green our city.

  4. Burien has waaaaay too many empty lots, storefronts, etc. CVS may not be the ideal business but we need to have more new stores coming in and, hopefully, bringing in more business to our town. Until the city can attract more businesses, I think CVS will do just fine. And about the tree, well, it is too bad that it had to come down. I hope that CVS will plant more in their new development.

  5. I will not enter the premises of the new pharmacy in protest. The tree was a very beautiful and natural landmark and Burien has quite enough pharmacies. The new owners could have built around tree. They are a major corporation that is headquartered in Woonsocket, Rhode Island and probably didn’t think that it would boost shareholder value to spend a little extra.

  6. Remember when 160th street was raised to its present level? It used to dip down a lot closer to the level of the old buffet parking lot . Across 160th, there was a tiny old house, where a an elderly lady lived until she was bought out to raise the street make the cut off to Ambaum. She told me in about 1964 how, as a child, she used to climb the big evergreens across the street, now long gone to make way for the apartments. The sequoia was an especial favorite of hers: it was large even then. I’m so very sorry to see that tree go. I’ll never patronize that store, or any other CVS. And, Burien zoning dept., I thought this was a tree friendly town. You could have saved this exquisite tree, and you did nothing. You wanted and got new tax revenue from a deep pockets out of state company. Trumps trees everytime.

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