If you saw trees disappearing from the grounds at Okanagan College in Salmon Arm last week, don’t be alarmed, say officials.
Cherry trees were cut down because they were becoming a hazard, says Jim Barmby, Okanagan College’s Shuswap-Revelstoke regional dean.
“They were rotting from the inside and it was becoming a safety issue,” explained Barmby. “Several large branches, four to six inches thick, started to crack – one had fallen on the ground.”
He said the arborist involved will be planting more appropriate species of trees sometime this year.
“They won’t be fruit trees. They need to be sprayed a lot and require lots of extra care – these will be shade trees.”
Kevin Pearson, the city’s director of development services, said the city received a complaint about the tree cutting so went out to check. As well as cutting down the cherry trees, the city learned that willow trees were being trimmed as part of a five-year maintenance program.
Pearson says there were no infractions of the city’s tree removal bylaw, because fruit trees are exempt.
The bylaw, which dates back to 1992, doesn’t apply to properties under an acre.
A number of criteria apply to properties over an acre, including the allowance of cutting down up to five per cent of the trees.