Two trees had to be cut down because they were dead, says neighbour

Two large trees had to be cut down in the area of 240 Street and 63 Avenue of Langley Township because they were dead and posed a potential hazard to a nearby house, some residents of the area told The Times.

Their comments came following publication of a story about the tree-cutting on Thursday.

The tree-cutting was reported by local residents Jim and Loraine Davis, who said the towering fir trees were planted on the former farm where she grew up, as an informal war memorial almost 100 years ago.

Another resident, Lorne Nickel, who is not the owner of the site of the tree-cutting, but lives on a different property near the location, said the trees had to go because they were obviously in poor shape.

“There were no needles, just branches sticking out,” Nickel said.

“Those trees were dead.”

Nickel said the two trees were huge, “monstrous” evergreens that could have caused significant damage if they came down on the house in a wind storm.

“Two men could not put their arms around them [the trees],” said Nickel.

Nickel said the crew doing the tree-cutting discovered the trees had been riddled with nails, likely pounded into the trunk back when the land was being used as a farm.

“They [the crew chopping up the trees] had to keep changing their [saw] blades,” Nickel said.

Another person who lives in the area, though not on the property where the trees were chopped down, wrote The Times  to defend her neighbour.

Maaike Wansink said the owner explained to her that the trees died “because the Township ordered them to put in a drainage ditch, by which means the roots got damaged.”

Jim Davis said the property owner contacted him after the article appeared in The Times and told him an arborist had certified the trees as dead.

Davis said he was surprised to hear that, because the trees did not seem to him to be in obviously poor shape.

Nickel told The Times the owner has told him that the decision was made to cut down the trees before their condition worsened to the point where they presented a physical hazard.

Davis maintains the incident underlines the need for a tree-cutting regulation for the rest of Langley similar to the recently-approved clear-cutting ban in Brookswood/Fernridge that limits chopping to 20 per cent of the trees on a property or eight trees, whichever is less.

The Brookswood/Fernridge bylaw took effect April 29, when it received final approval by Township council on a 5-4 vote.

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