Poisoned Trees in Vancouver, B.C.


Having lived in North Vancouver, B.C. for several years, I know first-hand how jealously people protect their “views”. A elderly neighbour once told me that she snuck down to the local waterfront park one night and removed the bark around the perimeter of a very large Douglas Fir to try to kill it, because it was blocking her view, and the city had refused all demands to take the top off the tree. She thought I would be pleased with her because, being her neighbour, the tree partially blocked my view of the water as well.

Ugh. I’ve always felt badly that I didn’t report that ignorant old bag. But she’s not alone in her attitude, many a neighbourly war has been fought between those who love trees, and those who’d like them all reduced to the size of bonsai plants.

Case in point: This disturbing article from the Vancouver Courier.

A West Side woman says if mature trees aren’t planted in place of the ones poisoned on Beach Avenue earlier this month, a dangerous precedent will be set.

“If whoever did this gets away with it, people will look at that and say ‘Hey I can do that too,'” Adele Kowsewg said. “How would the city look if everyone just cut down trees to improve their view?”

Three of the five 30-year-old trees, two London planes and an oak, died after they were were injected with a powerful herbicide available only in the U.S. Police believe the poisoning was motivated by a resident wanting to clear the view of trees. Horrified at what happened, Kowsewg wants to start a fund to help the parks board replace the trees with others of the same size. She’s willing to put up $100 and has already recruited a friend to throw in another $50.

“Darn it, no one should be able to get away with this,” she said. “These were beautiful trees that gave shade to the public. They should have been left alone.”

 

These folks need some help from PlantAmnesty (“PlantAmnesty’s mission is to end the senseless torture and mutilation of trees and shrubs.”). Here is an excellent article from their Web site, 5 Reasons to Stop Topping Trees.

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