Commission votes to take down iconic Duncan maple tree

A small group of supporters turned out Tuesday to hear the decision

The old maple tree on the edge of the Island Savings Centre parking lot on Duncan’s James Street is coming down.

A small but passionate group of supporters turned out on Tuesday to hear members of the Island Savings Centre Commission vote in favour of taking down the much-discussed tree, with only Alison Nicholson voting against the idea.

Each of the commission members gave the reasons behind their vote, with several explaining that they had held many conversations with Valley residents, on the phone, over email and in person, and discovered that a vast majority of them didn’t want to see public money spent saving the hollow tree.

Committee vice-chairman Al Siebring said “people are not lining up with open wallets to save this tree” and that “taking the easy way” would be acquiesce with the vocal crowd he saw before him.

His internet discussions have drawn 20,000 responses, with “90 per cent in favour of taking the tree down,” he said.

Construction work has already started on the parking lot outside the Island Savings Centre, right beside the tree, and will continue into the fall.