Local Information

I-90 Landscaping work in Spokane Valley planned for October

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 09:00

Al Gilson, Communications Manager
WSDOT Eastern Region
2714 N. Mayfair
Spokane, WA  99207

Washington State Department of Transportation crews will remove dead and diseased portions of about 50 trees along Interstate 90 in the Spokane Valley in October, replacing the trees later this fall.

The Lombardy poplar trees, which have a lifespan of about 20 to 30 years, are now 25 years old, and some of them are dead or dying. They are brittle and blow down in high winds, making them a hazard for maintenance workers, the traveling public and other healthy native vegetation on site. They will be replaced with Austrian pine and Rocky Mountain junipers, with additional trees planted over the coming years as the budget allows.

The poplars were planted in the early 1990s to replace trees planted in the 1970s that were removed in error. The fast-growing trees were placed along the north edge of the freeway right of way to screen the adjacent auto salvage yard.

In 2003, knowing that the poplar trees didn’t have a long life span, WSDOT planted 158 new trees along the north edge of the freeway between Woodruff Road and Wilbur Road. Species planted included Ponderosa pine, Limber pine, Austrian pine and paper birch. These trees are now around 15 feet tall – about the same height of the original trees that were removed in 1990.

“We need to remove these dead trees to keep the traveling public and our workers safe,” said Keith Metcalf, WSDOT regional administrator. “The remaining poplars, along with the newer trees planted in 2003 and this year, will help enhance the view along Interstate 90.”

Over the next few years, crews will continue to remove dead poplar trees as needed, replacing them on a one-to-one basis.  


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