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Monday, June 18, 2007

N 38th St & Sunnyside Ave N

posted by on June 18 at 13:26 PM



Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood has been plastered with urgent warnings to residents. After a series of brutal, late night attacks, Wallingfordians have asked the Seattle Police Department to help them protect…their gardens.

The warning begins:


Someone is defacing shrubs and flowers in the neighborhood. This person is randomly cutting at the trees, shrubs and flowers along our sidewalks. The cuttings are sometimes light trims but there has also been heavy, damaging pruning.

So far, the cutting area goes from Sunnyside to Wallingford and N. 40th to 37th [between] midnight and 6:30 AM.

Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Officer Diane Horswill says the unauthorized pruning has been going on for the last two or three months. “It’s just sort of a creepy thing to do. Somebody is going around and clipping stuff. It doesn’t seem to be targeted at a person. We’ve been doing increased patrols around the area on a sporadic basis [and] the neighbors are trying to be more watchful.”

Horswill says that someone started using hand pruners, or a similar small and easily concealable tool, to snip off small pieces of plants and trees that bordered sidewalks.

Is this some right-of-way vigilante taking back the neighborhood from overgrown shrubbery gone wild? Horswill says “It may have started that way. It may have been somebody who was irritated and [has] gone overboard.”


RSS icon Comments


guerilla pruning? brilliant!

Posted by dre | June 18, 2007 1:32 PM

I'm more concerned about the recent rezoning of Stone Way for Strip Clubs, thanks.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2007 1:41 PM

I no longer feel safe walking around Wallingford at night while carrying potted plants. We need a "Take Back the Foliage" neighborhood event.

Posted by Mr_Friendly | June 18, 2007 1:44 PM

Fucking Seattle.

I love this city but not all of it's residents.

So let me get this straight. When the cops are not busy planting drugs on people we need them to train their attention on shrubs being cleared from walkways in white a neighborhood?

Wow. Increased patrols huh?

Posted by Shtooooooooooooops | June 18, 2007 2:09 PM

WHAT? So what if the plants hang over on public property, "creepy" pruning or not? If I have a yard and the neighbor's tree hangs over into my yard, I am allowed to prune what is in my airspace, even if it hurts the neighbor's aesthetic sensibilities. To bad, so sad, that's the way it is. BFD if bushes are cut back to make room on public sidewalks. The homeowner should be doing that already on their own.

Is the pruning taking place in yards? If so, then that would seem like vandalism, so the police would naturally be involved.

Posted by Phenics | June 18, 2007 2:10 PM

#4 What do you have against white people?

Posted by elswinger | June 18, 2007 2:30 PM

Considering the Rainier Valley has an arsonist(or two) targeting occupied homes, Wallingford needs to STFU about their creepy pruners*.

*good name for a band though

Posted by anna | June 18, 2007 2:32 PM

One day it's just trimming the bush a little, and the next thing you know it's all bare.

Posted by vegetable lasagna | June 18, 2007 2:34 PM

I have to say I live in Wallingford and I have yet to see one of these signs "plastered" all over the place.

Posted by elswinger | June 18, 2007 2:42 PM


They smell like baloney. Other than that, they're pretty sweet when they're not busy diverting the attentions of our expensive police apparatus toward the perilous evils of DIY public gardening.

While we're at it, let's find out who's writing "Wash Me" in the dirt on the windshields of all the vehicles in the Phinney Ridge area.

Posted by #4 | June 18, 2007 2:45 PM

vegetable lasagna is o'so good..mmm

Posted by shelbis | June 18, 2007 3:06 PM

Hey, if somebody wants to come by and give my rhode a waxing, that'd be fine.

Posted by anom | June 18, 2007 3:06 PM

TYVM Shelbis.

Speaking of double-entendres, I saw a "Vegetarians Taste Better" bumper stick on a post on Sunday. Do vegetarians put these on their cars hoping for a little action or are they for environment-chewing Hummer drivers? I mean, if I put one on my car, is some cattle rancher from E.WA going to run up and gnaw on my arm when I get out?

Posted by vegetable lasagna | June 18, 2007 3:15 PM

After practically having to walk in traffic on 15th yesterday, thanks to some dimwit who has let his/her shrubbery take over the sidewalk, I'm definitely on the side of the creepy pruner.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 18, 2007 3:43 PM

Anyone who feels the need to take some action with respect to my knotty pine should feel empowered to do so. For those 3 or 4 fans of 'Zoo', however, please leave my dogwood alone.

Posted by vegetable lasagna | June 18, 2007 3:54 PM

Sorry, the cops are too busy picking on innocent weeds.

Posted by Gomez | June 18, 2007 3:59 PM

@13 - actually, they do. IMHO.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2007 4:12 PM

@16, if I call 911 and say 'help, someone's attacking my peonies', will they show up?

Posted by vegetable lasagna | June 18, 2007 4:23 PM

Cattle ranchers in E WA don't eat anything vegetarian...

Posted by The Peanut Gallery | June 18, 2007 4:28 PM

Considering the guerrilla pruning, guerrilla calls for car-washing and the guerrilla parking enforcement in the Phinney/Wallingford corridor, I've seriously considered packing up and moving to 26th and Jackson. Aging hippies with a warped sense of entitlement are really bringing me down.

Posted by horatiosanzserif | June 18, 2007 4:29 PM

Considering the guerrilla pruning, guerrilla calls for car-washing and the guerrilla parking enforcement in the Phinney/Wallingford corridor, I've seriously considered packing up and moving to 26th and Jackson. Aging hippies with a warped sense of entitlement are really bringing me down.

Posted by horatiosanzserif | June 18, 2007 4:29 PM


Click "Post" once, asswipe.

Posted by horatiosanzserif | June 18, 2007 4:31 PM

I'm not the Wallingford pruner, but I've done some guerilla pruning of my own. City code says you're supposed to keep sidewalks clear to at least 6' (maybe 8'). I generally vent my wrath most on: plants that have taken over half the width of the sidewalk; trees with branches at face level; plants with thorns (egad, do these people ever use their own sidewalks?).

Posted by Greg Barnes | June 18, 2007 4:31 PM

when i creepy prune (or creep & prune) i always do a good job aesthetically. a little surgical cut, and no more ducking under branches.

some people are just lazy. some are ignorant of proper pruning. some are really really old. or dead.

now, my new zealand flax has been creepy pruned - and they did a REALLY BAD JOB. admittedly, it could have poked someone's eye out...

Posted by maxsolomon | June 18, 2007 4:48 PM

The story goes beyond over-grown bushes. It's random tree branches, leaves, etc. If you drive by 39th and Burke, there is a sign hanging from a tree regarding the issue. Many think it's a person posing as a "dog walker". Who really knows? but hey I've had neighbors knock on the door and tell me to move my car cause it was parked on the wrong side of the street, in FRONT of their house of all things. Wally World!

Posted by gameboy | June 18, 2007 5:03 PM

Just a random nightly botanical briss.

Looks just like daddies yard.

Posted by ecce homo | June 18, 2007 5:36 PM

Wait a minute. Isn't this how the storyline in Hot Fuzz started?

Posted by Gitai | June 18, 2007 5:55 PM

i imagine Edward Scissorhands as the culprit.

Posted by ricky | June 18, 2007 6:03 PM

If that kids not working at Rudy's, I'd be shocked.

Posted by vegetable lasagna | June 18, 2007 6:13 PM

The world is falling apart but atl east the cops are making sure the sidewalks are blocked.

Posted by Culture Jam A Pound Of Tobacco Into Your Prisonbound Keister. | June 19, 2007 4:03 AM

It doesn't have the bite of a creepy midnight pruner, but they did move a large house from 41st and Corliss down a zig zag path to a barge on the lake a couple of weeks ago. They were pruning like mad, and it's not very pretty.

You're not kidding about how kooky they get here about parking. I parked in a new spot in front of the neighborwhodoesnotsayhello's house and got a window broken and my gas syphoned over the next 2 nights. Coincidence?

Posted by KC | June 19, 2007 11:13 PM

A beautiful little ornamental plum tree, not hanging onto anyone's property or offending anyone in any way, was pruned so badly in the night in almost died, last year.
This tree was planted in honor of its owner's mom, who had died the year before and whose ashes are mixed with the soil at its roots.
I know the city has many urgent problems for the police to deal with, however, the truth is there is a cruel and creepy weirdness at work here that causes grief for those of us who love our little plants.

Posted by Binti | June 25, 2007 4:35 PM

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Posted by rewq4545 | July 1, 2007 12:52 AM

Pruning Man may be undercover SPD enforcing compliance with
Seattle Municipal Code 10.52.030, by helping to "Remove vegetation in or on an abutting sidewalk" as in part B1.

I myself tire of ducking and dodging as I walk through this neighborhood.

Binti, sorry to hear about your loss. This is obviously not the work of a more benevolent Pruning Man.

Posted by wallingford sidewalk stooper | July 3, 2007 12:25 AM

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