Drought is having an impact on Parksville’s trees, and especially its cedars, with arborist staff at the city “dealing with the devastating loss of cedar trees in our parks,” reads a City of Parksville press release.
“Summer droughts over the past few years put severe stress on most of the trees in our urban forests with cedars the most susceptible,” it said.
Staff has undertaken inspecting hundreds of trees in Parksville parks.
While dead cedar trees can stand safely for years, the news release notes it’s a city priority to inspect each tree to determine if they are hazardous.
So far, work has been completed at Springwood Park, Wedgewood Park and Shelly Creek with a total of 50 trees removed, said Deb Tardiff, the city’s manager of communications.
Final numbers on tree removals at Foster Park have not yet been determined, she said, adding that work remains to be done at Renz/Wolf Park, Humphrey, Aberdeen Park and others.
Even if inspections don’t result in the removal of a dead cedar tree, the tree remains on an inspection list for staff to monitor.
“As you can imagine this is a huge undertaking for the city’s arborists,” said Tardiff.
The news release notes that other tree species with deteriorate more quickly may be removed as a higher priority.
As the city removes these hazardous trees, it continues to plant trees as well, according to the news release.
Ornamental trees were planted in Parksville Community Park, downtown and in our park areas, while native trees were replanted in Eagleview Park with plans for 600 more trees to be planted in urban forested areas later this year.