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State agency: Coulee Dam's trees worth millions


The trees owned by the town of Coulee Dam are worth an estimated $3 million dollars, a recent inventory report funded by the Washington Department of Natural Resources states.

The study, produced by Community Forestry Consultants, was produced under DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

Most, but not all, of the town’s trees were counted and mapped using special software and the Geographic Information System.

The type of tree, its condition, size and estimated value were signed to each of 680 trees at 296 planting sites.

Trees owned privately were not inventoried.

Those at parks, town facilities and along the streets were counted, but the inventory did not include all of the town’s trees, the report states.

There are 55 species represented, but 75 percent of them comprise six basic categories: maples, honeylocust, cherry, Hawthorne, ash, and horse chestnut. Maples alone make up 40 percent of the town’s trees.

“The appraised value is significant and represents a valuable asset for the City of Coulee Dam,” the report states. “Many of the trees are in fair condition. If maintained the condition ratings will improve, resulting in an even higher appraised value.”

Values were derived from the Guide for Plant Appraisal, 9th Edition.

Examples of values visible at an online map include a Hawthorne assessed at $1,650 along Stevens Avenue and a dawn redwood valued at $15,700 in Douglas Park.

The report recommends many for maintenance, some urgent. Most of the trees (473) need pruning. Some need to be nursed back to health after someone topped them and 4.5 percent of them need to be removed, half of them maples and cherries, the report states.

The report recommends a wider diversity of species, developing a restoration pruning plan for topped trees and pruning specifications as part of the tree maintenance contract bidding process.

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