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Cities of Kelowna, West Kelowna offer discounted trees to residents as spring nears

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Countdown to spring by welcoming a new member of the family: a tree for the yard to offer you shade from the hot Okanagan summer ahead.

The 11th annual NeighbourWoods Program will offer six tree varieties including the Autumn Gold Gingko, Galaxy Magnolia, Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac, Redpointe Maple, Showy Mountain Ash and the Urban Pinnacle Oak for a subsidized price of $40.

“When you only have a small amount of tree species [in a city] you can run into problems when you come across things like Dutch elm disease and [the] Emerald Ash Borer, things that have targeted other municipalities,” said Tara Bergeson, urban forestry technician with the City of Kelowna.
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“So we try to encourage a wide range of species in our city to avoid that.”

READ MORE: ‘There’s a multitude of benefits’: Kelowna’s tree planting program celebrates 10 years

For renters, there is a new planting event where you can plant your tree in the city and watch it grow, the date for which is yet to be announced.

Orders are now being taken and pickup will be April 18 at the Mission Recreation Centre. For more information, visit www.kelowna.ca/neighbourwoods

Across the bridge in West Kelowna, the city has jumped on board and is now offering its own Urban Re-Leaf program for the subsidized price of $60. Residents can choose between Autumn Blaze Maple, Toba Hawthorn, Sunburst Honey Locust, Muckle Plum and Pekin Tree Lilac.

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“These are very hearty to the Okanagan climate,” said Stacey Harding, parks and fleet operations manager with the City of West Kelowna.

“They help with creating oxygen, a habitat for birds and insects, absorbing water — they do all sorts of things we don’t think of.”

To order, visit www.westkelownacity.ca/urbanre-leaf-program. Pickup will be at the gravel lot next to the Mount Boucherie Recreation Complex April 4.

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