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Oregon Capitol's Famous Cherry Trees May Get the Ax

State officials say the trees' roots might be causing damage to the roof of the underground parking structure below.

Posted: Sep 24, 2018 2:08 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The famous flowering cherry trees that bloom each spring in front of Oregon's Capitol may get the ax.

State officials say the trees' roots might be causing damage to the roof of the underground parking structure below and if so, the trees will need to be removed, The Statesman Journal reported Monday.

The Oregon Department of Administrative Services has hired a consultant to find out for sure and officials hope to have an answer by February, the newspaper said.

The double row of cherry trees has lined the mall since 1991, when the strip was excavated for the 1,200-space underground parking structure.

Each spring, the trees come into bloom and shower pink petals down on the mall, delighting residents and visitors.

The blooms were the inspiration for Cherry Blossom Day at the Capitol and honor the state's cherry industry and the role of Japanese culture in Oregon.

The mall is part of State Capitol State Park, which also includes Willson Park on the west side of the Capitol and Capitol Park on the east side of the building.

State Capitol State Park became a new state park in 2008 and has since been managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

There are only 24 inches of soil between the park surface and the parking structure roof, park manager Kevin Strandberg said.

"For trees, as they get larger, they need to have deeper and deeper root growth," Strandberg said. "It was only a matter of time until they would have to do some replacement of this landscape planting."

If trees need to be removed, the Department of Administrative Services would be responsible for replacing them, he said.

But the replacements would be small trees that would mature slowly over time.

State officials have been dealing with leaks in the parking structure for several years, Craig said.

The study, which is expected to cost about $200,000, also will examine whether the waterproofing membrane or the storm-water runoff system have failed and will also assess the structural integrity of the building.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 138168

Reported Deaths: 1880
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah29114464
Washington19279179
Marion16740248
Clackamas12039141
Lane8767113
Jackson716996
Umatilla699273
Deschutes519440
Yamhill329948
Linn321249
Malheur320155
Polk258140
Klamath255046
Josephine184536
Benton182014
Douglas177445
Jefferson173825
Union115117
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Columbia107618
Lincoln103317
Coos100915
Hood River98521
Morrow96610
Clatsop7075
Crook66113
Baker5825
Tillamook3702
Curry3255
Lake2535
Grant2171
Harney1816
Wallowa993
Gilliam531
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3168528

Reported Deaths: 37121
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Los Angeles107315615262
San Bernardino2644571667
Riverside2585322777
San Diego2271952375
Orange2232882638
Santa Clara980571234
Kern90213590
Fresno852741043
Sacramento834081157
Alameda70334894
Ventura65581507
San Joaquin59395808
Contra Costa54951489
Stanislaus44184788
Tulare42759531
Monterey37285259
San Mateo33731340
San Francisco30308293
Santa Barbara26820265
Solano26494111
Imperial25581493
Merced25048324
Sonoma24935247
Kings19904160
Placer17675188
San Luis Obispo16652151
Madera13858151
Santa Cruz12771130
Marin11954163
Yolo11087138
Shasta9951129
Butte9757134
El Dorado800259
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San Benito516648
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Tehama446846
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Mendocino327736
Amador304932
Lake267332
Humboldt249425
Glenn201522
Colusa18549
Calaveras169523
Siskiyou148413
Mono11354
Inyo100729
Del Norte8732
Plumas6055
Modoc3903
Mariposa3514
Trinity3054
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Alpine730
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