City cuts down line of cherry trees for bike lane construction

Click to play video: 'Some Vancouver residents upset about losing trees to a bike lane'
Some Vancouver residents upset about losing trees to a bike lane
ABOVE: It appears that Vancouver’s mission to build more bike lanes doesn’t stop even for picture-postcard scenery, and that has many people upset. Jill Bennett reports – Mar 13, 2017

Visitors to the south False Creek Seawall won’t be getting their annual cherry blossom show this spring. The City of Vancouver has removed a line of picturesque cherry trees along the seawall east of Granville Island.

The trees, which bloom into a ribbon of pink along the Alder Bay Walk stretch of the seawall every March, were cut down to stumps this week in order for crews to widen the seawall and make a more even and separated bike and pedestrian path.

The City of Vancouver explained in an email to Global News that the decision was made after receiving a report from an arborist.

“The study concluded that the trees were in poor condition due to inferior growing environments and at the end of their life-spans as they have several health issues including bacterial blights and cherry-bark tortrix.”

Granville Island resident Yayoi Hirano told Global News she was very disappointed to see the trees gone.

Story continues below advertisement

“Since I moved here from Tokyo 15 years ago, I enjoyed so much to see this cherry blossom alley. Was it really necessary?” Hirano said.

UBC Botanical Garden Associate Director Douglas Justice said “it breaks my heart to see cherry tree removals” but that “it’s better to actually remove those older trees that are not doing well and replace them.”

“You can plant a cherry tree and within five years you have a magnificent canopy,” he added.

The Vancouver Park Board indicated their plans to remove 34 trees in the area in April 2016.

“Along Creekside Drive there are 17 cherry trees exceeding 30 years of age that are in poor health and have a limited life expectancy,” the Park Board wrote in a report on South False Creek Seawall upgrades.

It indicated another 17 trees along the Alder Bay Walk, which were also at the end of their lifespan and diseased, would be removed as well.

The plans suggest 17 new trees will be planted in a median once the widened pathway is complete. The 17 trees along Creekside Drive will also be replaced.

Vancouver Park Board

“The new large stature cherry trees will be better suited to the site conditions and improve the future of the urban forest as the existing trees have a limited life expectancy at this time. These new trees will also flower in year one,” the report said.

Story continues below advertisement

For the usual spring show of cherry blossoms, visitors to and residents of the area will have to wait until 2018.

With files from Jill Bennett

Sponsored content