City far from cavalier about tree removals
I am following up to clarify the City’s practices regarding tree removals.
The City has a practice of annual tree inspections. Our Parks foreman is a Certified ISA Arborist and noted some visible concerns with maple trees located within the playground area of McAdam Park Preschool.
Staff met on site and discussed the concerns, and there was visible decay and evidence of weak attachments. As is regular practice, staff got an independent inspection done by a Registered Consulting Arborist. This particular arborist is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified and a Wildlife Danger Tree Assessor.
Of the 10 trees examined, only three were recommended for removal, noting significant decay and a “likely to fail” rating. Given the high risk/high impact threat of these trees located within a playground of a preschool, staff elected to act on the recommendations of both staff and the consulting arborist, and began scheduling for their removal.
The City does not take a cavalier approach to the reduction of the urban tree canopy. Quite the opposite; the City is very protective of its trees. Every precaution was taken to ensure these particular maples, which have no special designation, were at the end of their life and could not be otherwise pruned or saved; however, of utmost importance is public safety, which ultimately prevailed when weighing the risk of leaving them standing in their location.
The City’s policy is that a tree must be planted for every tree removed.
As is regular practice, the City does not automatically award any resulting tree pruning or removals to the consultant. Three tree removal contractors were asked to bid on the work, and it was awarded to a company not associated with the consulting arborist.
Notification was provided to the preschool and adjacent property owners, letting them know these trees were being removed for safety reasons subsequent to an arborist inspection.
The City appreciates and shares your passion for protecting mature trees. We trust this additional information will allay any concerns you may have about the City’s approaches to tree pruning and removal.
Please feel free to call me anytime you have questions about the City’s practices.
Peter de Verteuil
CAO, City of Duncan