Yep Kanum Park tree removal complete

S-E Staff Reporter

Northwest Tree Service completed the Yep Kanum Park tree removal project March 22 when the all of the remaining debris was removed from the park landscape.

This project began last year when Colville City Council, through help from professional arborists and foresters, determined numerous trees in the 18.21-acre park were dead or dying.

In January, Colville City Council put out a bid for tree removal and pruning. Northwest Tree Service won the contract for $41,350.68.

Northwest Tree Service's work in the park began late February and continued through early March.

Steve Schmidt, owner of Northwest Tree Service, said while cutting trees the ground stayed cold and remained firm.

In total, 51 tree were removed, 11 were trimmed, four snags were left as wildlife trees and four snags were left to be carved at a later date (in accordance with Colville City Council wishes).

For the wildlife trees Schmidt notched the top with a chainsaw, leaving a jagged surface. A jagged surface is ideal for nest building.

When working for Fish and Wildlife, Schmidt said he's allowed to use dynamite to blow the top out to create a cavity for nesting.

To save money, the city handled all of the stump grindings, which was done prior to cleanup.

Before Schmidt's crew could begin cleaning, all of the snow had to melt.

With the snow melted, the ground was saturated and soft. There was only one location in the park that the crew left tread marks on.

Approximately 80 crew hours were spent on the project, with no complications reported.

“Everything went really good,” said Schmidt, “But the trees were a little too rotten to be used for lumber.”

Schmidt instead donated the trees to three separate Boy Scout troops. The troops will turn the logs into firewood to be sold as part of a service project.

Troops benefiting from the tree removal project are Troop 959, 902 and 935.

Schmidt has been working with the Scouts for 27 years and is an associate of all three troops. He is currently the varsity coach for Troop 935 from Ione. He used to be the troop master for Troop 595.

Money raised from firewood fundraisers will help the kids go to summer camp.

According to Schmidt, logs with 50 percent rot, shake or cracks are usually rejected for lumber by mills. That percentage also depends on how much the mill needs lumber.

“Some of this would have been usable, but once I started it was just easier to give it all to the Boy Scouts.”

Now Schmidt will have to take his troop to split the wood.

Dick Nichols, another community member involved with the Scouts, allowed Schmidt to temporarily house the logs on his property until the wood can be split.