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Posted on: August 29, 2018

Iconic Tree from Former Explosion Site Relocated to Torguson Park

8-29-18 Explosion Tree Collage

After a gas explosion destroyed three buildings and damaged 52 other properties on North Bend Way four years ago, a lone Japanese Maple tree at the blast site managed to survive. As construction of the new Phoenix Plaza is underway, many wonder what will happen to the tree. 

City staff has been in contact with the owner and contractor for the new construction and are happy to report that they have agreed to make every attempt to save the tree. 

“From the beginning of this process, I’ve been talking with the land owner/ developer, Manoj Dipankar, about saving the tree and he has always been very agreeable,” City of North Bend Economic Development Manager and Planner, Lynn Hyde said. “The contractor really went above and beyond by soaking the tree with water prior to the relocation and taking extra precautions while working around it.”  

City staff has also been working with Si View Metro Park District to relocate the tree to Torguson Park near the Pump Track, where it would be protected in a central location for community members to enjoy. Even though its survival is not guaranteed due to the stress of moving, Si View is working hard to ensure it has the best chance.

“You might notice when you look at the tree in its present location, that it has a natural lean to it. I believe this was caused by the blast,” Dave Dembeck, Si View Metro Park District Operations Manager, said. “I tried to straighten it up, but it wanted no part of it. The tree wanted to stay the way it has been growing since the blast. The roots were all intact when moved and to straighten the tree would have meant the roots on one side would be up in the air. I would say the Mamma Lynn tree has a 99% chance of survival. This is Lynn’s (Hyde) tree all the way. She saw the diamond in the rough and saved its life!”

Photo credits from left: Snoqualmie Valley Record, Lynn Hyde, Jill Green 

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