Dying landmark Kerrisdale tree to find new life as neighbourhood benches

Click to play video: 'Landmark tree removed from Kerrisdale' Landmark tree removed from Kerrisdale
WATCH: Landmark tree removed from Kerrisdale – Mar 3, 2019

It was a long night for crews working to remove a landmark from Vancouver’s Kerrisdale neighbourhood.

The massive sequoia has sat at the intersection of 41st Avenue and Vine Street, adjacent to the Shopper’s Drug Mart, for decades.

READ MORE: After 60 years of wind and weather, Vancouver’s Centennial Totem Pole to be refurbished

According to the Kerrisdale Business Association (KBA), the giant tree was at least 85 years old and may even predate the Kerrisdale village itself.

Chris Allard / Global News. Chris Allard / Global News

“The village has been there since 1905; it’s one of the oldest villages in Vancouver so (the tree is) a landmark,” said KBA co-ordinator Terri Clark.

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The tree’s health has been deteriorating for several years, prompting safety concerns and fears it could topple over and hurt someone or damage a nearby building.

KBA president Glenn Knowles said the group was limited in what it could do to preserve the landmark.

“We’ve had numerous residents contact the KBA asking what can we do, [why] aren’t we looking after the tree,” said Knowles.

“But it’s on private property, commercial property. We have no jurisdiction over it, other than saying, ‘What can we do? We’d like to help the tree,’ which is what we did a few years ago.”

WATCH: Vancouver’s iconic Centennial Totem Pole is removed for repair

Click to play video: 'Vancouver’s iconic Centennial Totem Pole is removed for repair' Vancouver’s iconic Centennial Totem Pole is removed for repair
Vancouver’s iconic Centennial Totem Pole is removed for repair – Nov 17, 2018

Knowles said the KBA offered to help with an arborist, but by the time the property owners acted, the tree was too far gone to salvage.

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“If you saw it, you’d realize it can’t be saved. It’s just depleted,” said Knowles.

Crews spent hours taking the tree apart piece by piece into early Sunday morning.

READ MORE: Vancouver police, park board searching for tree-topping vandals

The KBA says a large portion of the wood will be saved, cured and milled into lumber.

There are hopes it could be turned into benches for the revamped Arbutus Greenway, either by students in the Magee Secondary School wood shop program or by a local Musqueam artist.

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