The shorter of two large sequoias along Highway 214 will be cut down soon, now that the city of Woodburn has approved a significant tree removal permit from Oregon Department of FILE PHOTO - The sequoia on the right will likely be taken down within days or hours of approval from the city of Woodburn.

The city responded to the permit within 24 hours of the request on Wednesday, and ODOT will likely remove the tree within days, according to a statement from the city.

The fate of the two trees has stirred up controversy in the community, with many people petitioning that ODOT leave the trees, despite being rooted in the path of a proposed sound wall. The sound wall is part of ODOT's Interstate 5 Interchange construction project.

Last week, ODOT submitted additional information needed to complete its tree removal permit application, which has been pending since September of last year.

One of ODOT’s chief concerns regarding the sequoia trees has been their stability after the sound wall is built. ODOT’s arborist has stated that based on the planned construction activity of the sound wall, it appears that the major holding roots will be severed, making the tree unstable and a potential hazard.

As a result of efforts between the City of Woodburn, ODOT and the property owners involved, an agreement was reached that will save one of the two trees in question. The project is being managed by ODOT, but both trees are on private property.

As a condition of the tree permit, ODOT will be required to plant two new sequoia trees in that same area in the future.

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