A method and apparatus for reducing the number of write operations during route updates in router forwarding engines eliminates "excess" (i.e., "redundant") writes to the routing trie. One or more writes are "redundant" with respect to another write if the timestamp of the other write is the same as or later than (by an amount less than a given threshold) the timestamp of each of the one or more writes, and if the state of the routing trie after the other write has been applied is equivalent whether or not any of the one or more writes have also been applied. Excess writes may be advantageously eliminated when routes are either added to or withdrawn from the routing trie, and deleted subtrees may be advantageously cached for subsequent re-addition thereto.

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