The stately sequoia tree that has graced West 41st Avenue in Kerrisdale for close to 90 years is ailing and needs to be cut down.
That’s the word from Bill Trafford with TPMG Capital real estate, which manages the property.
In an email to the Courier, Trafford said the towering tree was recently examined by a horticulturist and the results were “not good.”
“Unfortunately the tree roots extend under the road and the tree has been under heavy stress,” wrote Trafford. “We’ve had a tree company take care of the tree for several years, but it was their latest recommendation that the tree come down. A full report was forwarded to the Kerrisdale Business Association as they had concerns too…”
Terri Clark, executive director of the Kerrisdale Business Association, said she’s heard from many residents concerned about the tree, which she describes as looking more and more sickly as time went on.
“I know about trees and the way they act. Sometimes when a tree drops its leaves people think it’s dead when it’s not,” says Clark. “But, this whole thing is red and dropping bark. It’s probably been dead for two years.”
Clark says the sequoia has been under acute stress the past several years, especially when you consider the three consecutive extremely dry summers Vancouver suffered. As well, the tree is completely surrounded by concrete and buildings — not an ideal situation for a giant sequoia.
“It’s in a completely inappropriate place,” says Clark.
Clark says after hearing concerns from many locals the association contacted TPMG Capital in February and, with permission from the board, offered to pay to have an arborist assess the tree.
“They declined and said they had their own people looking at it,” says Clark.
Clark says she has a large tree in her own back yard so knows the kind of space they need.
“I’ve found roots 100 yards away in the neighbour’s yard,” says Clark. “They’ll go anywhere to survive.”
Clark and other members of the association hope once the tree comes down the property management company will donate some of the lumber so they can have slab benches made to place along the new Arbutus bikeway “ensuring a part of it can remain where its life’s journey began.”
A note about the sequoia on the association’s website reads in part, “the response of Kerrisdale’s populace has been amazing; so much love and concern for a stately wooden sentinel reminiscent of a time when the surrounding neighbourhood was only forest.”
“It’s so sad. It’s breaking everyone’s heart,” says Clark.