Hundreds of trees in Aloha neighborhood cut down

Before and after pictures of a street in the Aloha Vineyards subdivision.

A series of tree-lined streets in one Aloha subdivision look very different after the majority of street trees were cut down in the last couple weeks. Even more trees are slated for removal.

"It's sad that they're cutting down all the trees," said Emily Day, who's lived in the Arbor Vineyards subdivision for 15 years. "Apparently, they planted the wrong species. They were too big. They were the wrong kind."

The subdivision was completed in stages starting nearly 20 years ago. As time passed, the trees began to cause insidious damage as they grew. Root systems overtook grass on parking strips. Sidewalks were raised. Underground pipes were busted.

"We knew we had a problem on our hands years ago," said Ed Bright, a former member of the HOA board.

The HOA decided a large-scale tree removal project was the best option. They feared residents would face giant bills in the future if the damage caused by the trees was left unchecked.

"We've already spent well over $50,000 on concrete grinding over the past years," said Bright.

Still, neighbors have been taken by surprise at how different their streets now look. Bright said he feels their pain.

"I'm going to miss it a lot," he said of the tree cut down right in front of his home.

Bright says most of those who are upset have complained about the speed of the tree removal project. He says once he realized there was so much pushback, he wanted to pause the project to better explain to residents why it needed to be done.

"That idea was rejected," Bright said.

Bright says there are more than 600 street trees in the subdivision and that 450 have either been cut down or are slated for removal. He says all but 90 trees will be replaced.

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