Ivy Way trees will stay

Two trees on Ivy Way Northeast will be permitted to stand after the Keizer City Council granted them an exception.

The Keizer City Council will allow two giant sequoia trees that have gobbled up a portion of a sidewalk to stand. 

Councilors held a public hearing on the matter Monday, Dec. 7, and determined that the sidewalk along Ivy Way Northeast, which is incomplete, will be removed instead of the trees. There is a completed sidewalk on the opposite side of Ivy Way. Typically, when a tree begins to encroach on a public sidewalk, the city works with residents to have them removed, said Keizer Public Works Director Bill Lawyer. Property owners are then responsible for repairing the sidewalk. 

The sequoias had several neighbors who spoke in their defense via written testimony.

“The trees themselves are inspiring to look at and have provided habitat for birds and small animals that live in this area,” wrote Barbara Hunter. “Why would we sacrifice two magnificent trees to repair a small portion of the sidewalk that leads nowhere?”

Don and Marsha Kaehler echoed some of the same sentiments. 

“If a qualified arborist has determined that the trees are a danger to the surrounding area that would be a different issue,” the couple wrote. 

Lawyer said, to his surprise, the trees did not seem to be suffering as they competed for space with a concrete sidewalk. 

“One of the trees swallowed up the curb but they are healthy, and they haven’t impacted the street,” Lawyer said. 

If the trees begin to disrupt the street pavement, the city will revisit the matter. 

Even if the trees had to be taken down, Lawyer said the city works with residents to pay for removal, but property owners are responsible for replacing curbs and replanting.