Make like a tree and get out of here

boulevard trees in chetwynd

Some of the trees that are going to be cut down. Naomi Larsen photo.

Naomi Larsen

CHETWYND – Chetwynd’s main boulevard is undergoing a drastic change over the next week with the removal of more than 60 45-year-old poplar trees.

District of Chetwynd Director of Engineering and Public Works Paul Gordon said the trees have exceeded their expected life span and due to disease and age the trees are being replaced.

“The District commissioned a study in 2008 to examine all of the poplars along the highway,” Gordon said. “The study confirmed the these poplars have all exceeded their expected life span of 45 years. $60,000 was spent at that time to do some pruning to try to extend the life of the existing trees.”

Gordon said annually he is forced to remove dead trees as a safety matter.

“Last year I had to remove ten,” he said. “Now you can start to see the gaps in the trees as we have not replanted the ones that came down.”

The District has initiated a three-year plan to remove all the ailing poplars and replace them with two new species:  Brandon Elm and Manchurian Ash. Eighty will be planted.

“The trees will be planted symmetrically staggered,” Gordon said. “The new species are fast growing and are suited for this weather zone. They have a life span of 80 years.”

Gordon has advertised quotes for the removals and the stump grinding and so far has received seven bids. Work on the removals began Wednesday and wrapped up at week’s end.

“We have already sourced the new trees and will be replanting in the spring,” Gordon said. “This is phase one of three with a budget of $50,000.”

As the Mayor wrote in his weekly column,” Gordon said,  “Somebody created a legacy for us 50 years ago and now we’ll do the same for future generations.”