Over the weekend, someone cut down trees on the former Seattle City Light lot on the northwest corner of SW 144th and Ambaum Blvd. SW (map below).
This lot was home to at least one endangered, historic Akebono Cherry Tree, likely planted sometime between 1948-1950, about the time a City Light substation that stood there was built. Many of the beautiful, blooming cherry trees that line walkways in Washington, D.C. are Akebono, most of which were planted in 1912.
The main cherry tree looked damaged, but we have not fully confirmed that yet. Branches on other trees appeared to be broken.
As we previously reported, this corner lot was put up for sale in May, 2016 after a grassroots effort and petition was made to save it and its historic cherry trees. According to the King County Department of Assessments, the 6,551 square foot vacant lot at 1006 SW 144th Street is now owned by Javier and Claudia Delgado. Its 2023 appraised value is $167,000.
City of Burien staff are aware of the tree removal and have confirmed that the work was not permitted.
“At this time, staff are continuing to work toward addressing the situation,” said Devin Chicras, Interim Communications and Public Engagement Manager.