The cherry trees on Canada Avenue in Duncan are in full bloom this April, 2021. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Editorial: Time to put trees on the agenda

Trees make communities better.

Let’s talk trees.

It’s no coincidence that many of the most desirable neighbourhoods in our communities are lined with trees, either on the sides of the road or down the middle on boulevards. Trees make communities better.

Trees clean the air for us. They provide shade and thus free temperature modulation in the summer. They provide shelter to people and animals alike. They are also beautiful, vastly improving the concrete jungles we erect in which to live and work. Who doesn’t love the cherry trees on Canada Avenue when they are in full bloom in spring? Or the plethora of pink blossoms that cheer up the Trans Canada Highway through Duncan?

Our communities have been taking trees more seriously in recent years. Duncan has a tree protection bylaw, so that these community assets can’t just be chopped down on a whim. Communities have also been putting in new trees, or replacing problematic ones, like the American sweet gums that will be coming down in Duncan, to have new, more suitable ones put in their place. There are a great many options available that make it easier for towns and homeowners alike if they are worried about space constraints or root infiltration. There are many small varieties of old favourites that can be purchased, ranging from dogwoods (B.C.’s provincial flower) to maples.

In spite of the penchant of many developers for taking out any and all trees on lots they plan to build upon, creating a barren landscape where they start from zero, even many of these folks with an eye to the dollar potential end up adding trees back as part of the plan. Because a big shade tree to sit underneath in the heat of the summer is often as much a part of the homeowner’s dream as the proverbial white picket fence. And that’s a good thing. Though we do wish there was more effort made to save some of the existing foliage on these lots.

Municipalities are even mandating that large commercial developments use trees and greenery to improve the vast parking lots that seem to be an inevitable part (though we could use more greenery in these asphalt deserts. Ever competed for the shady parking spot when the temperature is soaring and you can see the heat waves coming off the pavement?).

Preserving parks with treed areas is key, but so is expanding the number of trees we incorporate into our urban streets and sidewalks. There’s a motion coming to North Cowichan council to do just that for that municipality.

For communities that don’t yet have a position on trees: it’s time to put trees on the agenda.


Just Posted

An online cooking lesson with Ian Blom, the Red Seal Chef from the Ainslie Restaurant, is one of the items on auction in a fundraiser for the Duncan Curling Club and other causes. (Submitted photo)
Online action being held to assist Duncan Curling Club and other causes

Auction, run by the Duncan Rotary Club, closes May 22

Police tape crosses Auchinachie Road at Somenos Road as police investigate an incident Friday at 11:30 a.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
UPDATE: North Cowichan neighbourhood, school evacuated after gardener digs up explosives

Students removed from Ecole Mount Prevost school in an ‘abundance of caution’

The Cowichan Valley Naturalists are offering a look at B.C.’s glass sponge reefs at a presentation on May 18. (Adam Taylor photo)
A&E column: Glass sponge reefs; AGM; and new book

What’s going on in arts and entertainment in the Cowichan Valley

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

Most Read