Chain saws begin cutting at city sequoia |

Chain saws begin cutting at city sequoia

Thousand-pound limbs fell from the 118-foot sequoia tree looming over Grass Valley’s historic Edward Coleman House Tuesday morning.

However, instead of smashing cars or piercing the deck of the residence, the limbs were being purposely cut and hauled away as part of the towering tree’s removal.

The Grass Valley City Council voted several weeks ago to allow the largest sequoia in Grass Valley to be cut down, agreeing the tree’s falling limbs, known as “widow-makers,” were a threat to the Johnson family living at the Coleman House.

The trunk of the approximately 150-year-old tree is scheduled to be cut down Thursday.

There was some controversy surrounding the tree’s removal. While the family said the tree’s shallow roots were uprooting the house and the limbs were a grave danger, Public Works Director Rudi Golnik voiced concerned that every option to preserve the tree and protect the home had not been explored.

Arborist Randall Frizzell said the problem is the giant sequoia, with a 12-foot diameter, was planted in an urban environment. It was brought to Grass Valley by Englishman Edward Coleman, who moved to Nevada County in 1860.

There are approximately 75 sequoia trees in Grass Valley.

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