City of Courtenay to cut down at-risk tree in Lewis Park

Due to its potential risk to public health and property, a large Sitka spruce tree located next to the public washrooms on the west end of Lewis Park is going to be cut down.

Courtenay city council approved the action on Feb. 18. The tree will be cut down on Feb. 23.

A similar sized Sitka spruce tree fell in Lewis Park during stormy and windy weather on Jan. 21. While the tree fell inwards toward the park, had it fallen in the opposite direction, it could have potentially blocked off a portion of the Old Island Highway.

The failure of that tree prompted City staff to consult with an arborist to inspect the other trees in the park, to see if any posed a similar risk. The arborist assessed 13 coniferous trees in Lewis Park and identified the lone tree that posed a risk to public safety and property.

“Given the tree’s location, which is directly adjacent to well-used walkways, sports fields, buildings and vehicle parking, combined with the arborist’s findings of decreased health and structural defects, this tree was determined to constitute a moderate to high risk of failure,” reads a briefing note from City of Courtenay staff.

Felling the tree, grinding the stump, and re-planting will cost the City $2,500.

According to the briefing note, replacement tree planting within Lewis Park is scheduled for October 2018.

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