A large grove of lovely madrona trees that crowns several acres of Kirkland's Big Finn Hill Park -- and like other local groves of Arbutus menziesii suffering ill health -- will be visited during a guided walk Saturday by the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance.
An interesting post of the alliance’s website tells the story of the grove, which is actually two separate forests, one mixed with fir, maple and cedar and the other of 90 percent madrona. The red-barked evergreen trees, which can grow to 80 feet and live 200 years, are considered one of the most beautiful native trees of the Pacific Northwest.
Botanists are not sure why they are suffering in many parts of their range, but it could be a fungal blight, climate change or changes in the surrounding environment, such as development.
The madrona grove is one of the most curious parts of 220-acre Big Finn Hill Park, where recently a bobcat was sighted. See that story by clicking here.
The guided walk is Saturday, March 16 at 10 a.m., with the group meeting at the trail kiosk on NE 138th Place. For details, see the alliance post here: http://finnhillalliance.org/2013/03/big-finn-hill-park-madrona-grove/.