Parksville city workers planting in urban forest areas in 2020. (Submitted photo)

Parksville city workers planting in urban forest areas in 2020. (Submitted photo)

More than 3,000 trees planted by City of Parksville in 2022

Crews diversified plantings with climate-hardy B.C. native plants

The City of Parksville’s tree planting program has wrapped up for the year, with more than 3,000 tree plugs planted in the city’s natural forested areas in 2022.

This brings the total to 12,000 tree and shrub plugs added to Parksville’s urban forest over the past five years, according to a news release by the city.

City parks crews diversified plantings in Foster Park, Renz Park, Shelly Creek Park South, Bridgewater Park and Humphrey Park. Crews included some smaller trees and large shrubs better suited for naturalizing in smaller parks, in addition to shore pine and Douglas fir, the release said.

Osmaronia or Osoberry were successful in a trial at Foster Park and the city is also adding other climate-hardy B.C. native plants, such as red-flowering currant, Pacific crab apple and Nootka rose. Crews also tried a few Pacific rhododendron plugs in select locations.

“Their preferred habitat is described as ‘fairly dry open forests and edges’, so we hope this pretty, pink flowering native plant will help beautify our natural forest areas for many years,” the release read.

READ MORE: Track committee to hold concert, dance fundraiser for Ballenas track upgrade in Parksville

Pacific crab apple, a new addition, is a small tree that provides food for butterfly caterpillars and other insects, nesting sites for birds, and its flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators for the nectar and pollen. The small apples are eaten by many birds, including cedar waxwings, woodpeckers and grosbeaks, according to the city.

The tiny apples are sour but become sweet once cooked.

The city is developing an urban forest strategy, which will provide baseline information about the state of Parksville’s urban forest, help to develop a long-term vision and adopt tangible goals for its management and growth. This strategy will be presented to city council in early 2023.

For information about the strategy, visit Let’s Talk Parksville.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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