Man nested in Seattle's landmark giant sequoia tree, draws coos, boos

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 23, 2016 3:38 PM

By Gina Cherelus

(Reuters) - A man who nested in a giant sequoia tree in downtown Seattle, drew a flock of Twitter comments, with some cooing over #ManInTree and others condemning him for damaging the 80-foot-tall (24-meter-tall) city landmark before coming down on Wednesday.

Seattle police negotiated with the bearded man from the window of a Macy's department store building some 30 feet (9 meters) from where he had been perched in the tree branches since Tuesday, said Officer Patrick Michaud.

Michaud said the man "created himself a little seat, maybe even a nest up there at the top."

Police closed off a small, triangular city block at the base of the tree to protect the public from falling objects, including the man himself, who became a top trending topic.

"Has anyone tried sending a cat up to rescue him? I think they owe us one. #ManInTree," tweeted @TheChrisAsbury on Wednesday.

"I know #ManInTree is (still) causing a logistical nightmare for the City of Seattle but God love this man!" tweeted @carrielamarr.

The man was first noticed atop the tree on Tuesday morning, and he spent the day throwing objects, including branches and sequoia seed cones, at police officers on the street below, Michaud said. He also claimed to be armed with a knife.

Police used a fire department cherry picker to negotiate with him, but late in the day it was needed elsewhere and left.

A police statement said the man appeared to be going through a personal crisis. He was largely peaceful, Michaud added.

By then, T-shirts emblazoned with "Remember the Tree" with the date that the tree-sitting began were being snapped up online. (

A live feed streamed by local broadcaster KOMO News showed spectators videotaping the man as he lounged in his nest, sporting an outfit of khaki pants, a checked hoodie and a red beanie hat.

Some shouted at the man and accused him of vandalizing the tree that was planted in 1973 and, according to the Seattle Government Department of Transportation's SDOT Blog, was once 100 feet (30 meters) tall before being damaged by a storm several years ago.

"I was okay with #ManInTree yesterday, but just look at the damage he has done to that thing. Not acceptable," tweeted Cameron Bielstein @CBielstein.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Sandra Maler)