Fields trees come down

by: Jaime Valdez The removal of about 2,300 trees along Southwest Hunziker Street began last week.

TIGARD - The removal of about 2,300 trees along Southwest Hunziker Street began last week, starting the month-long process to remove about 36 acres of trees from private property directly across from Potso Dog Park.

Bulldozers and other heavy machinery will roll through property owner Fred Fields' land for the rest of August to make the land more desirable for a potential buyer.

Richard Canaday, a Portland lawyer representing Fields, said that the retired manufacturing executive plans to donate the felled trees to a local nonprofit organization.

'It's not good husbandry for the city or Fields to just let them rot out there,' Canaday said. 'The logs will be gifted to an institution. They do good work, and this will let them have more dollars to do it with.'

Canaday said the organization did not want to be identified.

Fields' decision to remove the trees angered many neighbors and environmental activists who say that the forested land has been home to deer, frogs and other animals for years.

Because Fields is a private land owner, there is little the city can do to stop the tree removal.

Fields has agreed to leave about six acres of trees on the site to take advantage of a new city tree code set to go into effect next year, which requires developers to maintain a certain amount of tree canopy on their property. The code allows Fields to receive bonus credits for trees that would eventually need to be replanted on the site, said Todd Prager, city arborist.

Fields was required to leave a 50-foot barrier of trees and shrubs between the cut trees and homes along Southwest Cherry Drive, but to receive the bonus credits, Fields has increased the boundary to a total of 150 feet, leaving about six acres worth of trees standing.