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Zoo holding off on cutting down 4 cherry trees

In March we reported on Woodland Park Zoo’s plans to cut down four cherry trees in the park along Phinney Avenue because they were diseased. But a number of people, including two certified arborists, claim the trees are not diseased.

Esther Bartfeld, a park neighbor, asked Olaf Ribeiro, a prominent certified arborist and plant pathologist with an expertise in cherry trees, to evaluate the four trees. He concluded the trees were healthy and should not be removed. This morning he sent his report to Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the Parks Committee, and Rasmussen has now asked the zoo to hold off on cutting down the trees.
Here’s the note Councilman Rasmussen’s office just sent us:

Yes, Tom asked that the process please be put on pause so that a careful review of all the most current info about the trees could be done. There is no hurry and we need to take some time to sort this out.
I just got a message from the Zoo management expressing the exact same sentiment. They want to slow it down and make sure they’ve made the right decision.
So we’re all on the same page here, which was Tom’s goal. He’d like the Zoo, Parks and the community to work together cooperatively and constructively.

Here’s a .pdf copy of the report.