Spokane Parks Will Plant Two Trees For Every One That Fell In January Windstorm

Apr 8, 2021

The aftermath of the windstorm in Audubon Park.
Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR

After a devastating January windstorm knocked down hundreds of trees in the city, the Spokane Park system plans to replant them – two trees for every one that fell.

Katie Kosanke, Spokane’s urban forester, says trees protect the river and air from pollution, and provide an important cooling effect for the community.

“They have lots of environmental, social and economic benefits that they provide. They really are a green infrastructure asset in our community.”

The park system lost 200 in the storm and hopes to have 400 re-planted by spring of next year.

Kosanke said its likely so many trees fell because they weren’t acclimated to the types of winds that hit the area. Spokane saw gusts that were up to 75 miles per hour.

She said tree diversity could have also been a problem.

“The more species that we have, the more resilient our community is going to be, especially in the instance of storm events, but for pest issues as well.”

The city will re-plant a combination of Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, Western larch, and White pine. A portion of the trees may go to Comstock Park, which has still not re-opened after the damage to the storm.

The bulk of the re-planting will begin the fall, but Kosanke said there are city tree planting events planned this spring as well, though those are mostly focused on street trees.

Community members can volunteer to be involved in tree planting efforts throughout the region by contacting the city’s non-profit partner, The Lands Council. People can learn more by going to their website, landscouncil.org.