Leave Duncan maple tree where it is

I have read with dismay the verdict of the gorgeous maple tree

I have read with dismay the verdict of the gorgeous maple tree — but today after hearing about a new greening of Duncan initiative, where turf and tiny planted trees are being lauded for their huge community appeal, with hired marketing expertise expounding on the huge appeal of ‘green’ — I have to comment. With the thrust being the community friendliness of everything green from trees on murals to hanging planters, is this a logical time to be chopping down a heritage maple that has become a community icon?

The tree is alive and vibrant with a verdant show of beautiful leaves and a spectacular shape that I never fail to remark on when I go by.

A few of us tried many times, years ago, to instill interest in a tree bylaw in Cowichan. We could never get it off the ground. Many believe there is some protection in place for trees — there isn’t! And yet, they are a vital part of our community.

Duncan is like a bowl in summer that bakes, and needs every twig and leaf it has to mitigate the heat.

Our community centre has precious little in its outer architecture to endear it to the community. The lovely early ornamental cherry trees, the first harbingers of spring, have been removed from their lot and all that’s left to humanize an area that is now almost completely a concrete jungle is the venerable maple.

I was very proud of Alison Nicholson for all her comments — I feel she really is sensitive to the community and the environment and a valuable leader. In Britain, Europe and so many places this would not be allowed. Lets’ reconsider this decision, listen to our community, and leave this hallmark tree to grace its ‘lot’ and do the great deal of environmental cleaning that it is designed for, in place.

After all, it costs probably a lot more to clean the rooms in which these decisions are made in a year and as our Duncan Summer Festival artistic director said frequently this summer, “Nothing is for free — and everything else costs money.”


Jennifer Lawson


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