Cherry trees at Pike Place Market entrance cut down after heated back-and-forth debate

Crews cut down the cherry trees at the entrance of Pike Place Market on Tuesday as part of a redesign effort by the city of Seattle. Twenty-four new cherry trees will soon replace the old trees at the entrance.

The trees were set to be removed earlier this month, but the plan was put on pause after an outpouring of support from activists and a heated back-and-forth debate.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell says a memorial plaque will be placed at the site to honor the city’s Japanese heritage.

Waterfront Seattle says the old trees were planted in 1980 and are at the end of their healthy lifespan. The trees were slated to be cut down in order to make room for wider sidewalks and bike lanes in the area.