Fingers pointed over poisoned trees in West Seattle

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by TONYA MOSLEY / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on December 27, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 28 at 8:50 AM

SEATTLE - It's a view in West Seattle that people would kill for, and at least one homeowner thinks someone has done just that.

"Somebody poisoned these trees," says John Hendrickson who rents a home from Kayl Cook right along the Alki strip.

Both of them believe someone poisoned at least 17 trees on the hillside.

"What they did is they cut them open with some sort of chainsaw and then poured it in," says Hendrickson. 

They're now letting everyone know about it with a sign that reads, "Poisoned for View." 

The West Seattle Blog first reported on this story after receiving emails from people who were wondering what the sign meant.

"There's no insurance you can have for anything like that," says Cook from her vacation home in Mexico. She says she's in no hurry to get back to living under the slope. "Doing that we're really putting our lives in our own hands."

Arborist Zsofia Pasztor says Cook should be worried. Pasztor specializes in hillsides and says this one is downright dangerous.

"Trees are the number one protection against landslide and they're also the number one enemy for someone who wants to have the perfect view out of their living room," she says.

Neighbors say they enjoy the view but every one of them claims it wasn't them who poisoned the trees. 

"There's not one thing we can do about it," says Cook. She'll likely have to pay to clear out the dying trees. Ironically it affects everyone who lives below and above. "People who are very adamant for the view forget that t hose trees are holding out their house."

Arborists believe based on the way the trees are dying the poisoning happened about five years ago. Many of the homeowners on the hill are new to the area. Cook has filed a police report but without witnesses or proof, they have no way of going after anyone. 

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