PORTLAND – Mt. Tabor residents are fighting to save a beloved tree from the chopping block.
The 60-foot-tall walnut tree has likely been part of the neighborhood since the 1870s. But a developer who wants to put in three new row houses is threatening to chop it down.
A group of neighbors are banding together to try and save the tree. They say it’s integral to the neighborhood.
“I’ve been on the heritage tree committee for 15 years,” said Kevin Hillery, neighbor and arborist. “[The tree has] the most amount of wood of any deciduous tree that I can think of in Portland.”
The neighbors said they aren’t fighting the development. They say they just want the tree saved.
“The tree is gorgeous,” said neighbor Jean Janzy. “We really don’t want it to go.”
Nearby resident Michael van Kleek joked that he was going to hire people to sit in the tree.
“It’s the centerpiece of the neighborhood,” he said.
When KGW contacted the developer, he declined to comment.
So far, the neighbors have gotten a temporary hold to keep the tree from being torn down. They also plan to talk about the tree at next week’s city council meeting.
But for now, the tree’s long-term future is uncertain.
KGW Reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this report.