The Parks Board has provided some information about the status of trees in Charleson Park:
1. Approximately 130 Western Red Cedar were removed recently in Charleson Park. All of the trees were dead. Western Red Cedars have suffered from record hot and dry summers, and smoke pollution in previous years. This summer is more normal but the stress on the plants have led them to be predisposed to drying out more quickly and attacked from bark beetles.
2. The logs will be taken away when the work is complete, and chips left in situ.
3. The areas will be replanted in late fall 2019 with indigenous understory plants such as vine maple elderberry, and some douglas fir. The intent is to increase diversity in their natural area, while making it better climate adjusted.
Wendee has provided some additional insight: Death of Western Red Cedars is actually becoming increasingly common across the Pacific Northwest. Cedars are notoriously intolerant to drought, and as climate change results in greater periods without rain, this die off is projected to increase in areas that are not consistently moist (low lying forested areas, for instance).