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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

November 2, 2012 at 9:27 PM

‘Tis the season for urban logging

jeanlucatoptree-m.jpg
Sketched Oct. 24, 2012
[Click on sketches to view larger versions]

jeanlucontree-m.jpgSeattle arborist Jean-Luc Bengle sports long dreadlocks that swing in the air as he chainsaws a 110-foot Douglas fir growing dangerously close to two houses.
Bengle spent about three hours perched in that tree. On the way to the top, he trimmed branch after branch, attaching each to a rope and lowering them to his crew below. (The entire treetop then came down in one piece.) On his descent, he sliced the trunk into firewood logs and threw each to the ground with incredible precision.
Bengle, 29, has been climbing trees since he was a kid in Idaho. In college he studied horticulture and now has his own tree-care business. He loves trees, but cutting them is part of his job. In the wrong spot, a tree can become hazardous, he said. With windstorms picking up in the wintertime, “you don’t want to have a massive tree next to your house.”
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What has drawn your attention around Seattle lately? Send me your suggestions of interesting places and people to sketch via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Have a great weekend!

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