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Trees cut on Station Street's south side were dying, unsafe, councillor says

City worker clears sawdust Sunday after a row of cherry trees was cut along Craig Street
City worker clears sawdust Sunday after a row of cherry trees was cut along Craig Street's south side. They'll be replaced with shade-tolerant species soon.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Downtown Duncan shoppers and store-owners may wonder why a dozen or so cherry trees were cut this weekend along Station Street's south side.

"They're dying," Councillor Sharon Jackson said Sunday of the trees that bloomed pretty pink spring blossoms.

"They've been dying for 25 years because they get no sun."

Some had sprouted what she called "cankers."

"Some are dead, which is a safety hazard."

City crews will begin replacing the cherry trees as soon as possible with species that flourish in shady conditions, Jackson explained, noting advice to council from city arborist Ron Boxem.

The cherries on Station's west side are healthy and won't be chopped.

There was also the south-side cherry-pip mess, Jackson explained.

Some there were so stressed, they went into what she described as survival mode, sprouting fruit while they were supposed by a fruitless species.

"People were stepping on cherry seeds and tracking them into stores," she said of staining.

Jackson was unsure what species will replace the cherry trees, but said various species will likely be used to provide a shade canopy.

"People are very passionate about trees, so we want to get them up as fast as possible."

Duncan has no tree-cutting bylaw. Its policy concerning cutting on public land is to plant one tree for each one chopped.

Council has also ordered planting of 100 trees to mark the city's centennial.

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