This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)

Nine hazardous dead trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

Hikers, explorers and nature lovers may notice crews cutting down trees in Mount Douglas Park this month as part of a planned dead tree removal effort in preparation for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge in the park.

Starting on March 8, Saanich parks staff will begin the process of removing nine dead dead grand fir trees near Douglas Creek – the site of the 36-foot-long bridge set to be installed. Each of the trees was identified as hazardous during a tree assessment the district conducted in May 2020, explained Megan Catalano, communications manager for the district.

“The dead trees need to be removed prior to the bridge work in order to meet WorkSafeBC regulations as they are located within striking distance of the proposed bridge location,” she said.

The district’s policy for managing hazardous trees stipulates that staff don’t regularly inspect municipal trees – instead, problematic trees are reported by residents or evaluated ahead of construction, said Jason Clarke, parks supervisor of urban forestry and natural areas for Saanich.

In this case, the assessment was spurred by the upcoming construction of the new Douglas Creek bridge, he explained. A certified arborist assessed the site and identified nine trees that posed a safety risk for construction workers. Then, staff developed a mitigation plan and consulted environmental experts about the most appropriate time to remove the trees

READ ALSO: Wood snatchers illegally chop, smuggle logs out of Saanich park

While construction of the new bridge won’t begin until the summer, parks staff chose to begin removing the trees on March 8 because the felling needs to occur before bird nesting season, Clarke explained.

The task will likely take about four days and there may be some minor trail interruptions, he said, noting that staff will be present to direct park-users and keep the work site clear.

He added that most of the trees to be removed are grand firs – a species that has been notably on decline on the Island. Finding dead firs will likely become “the new norm” in the region, he said.

Clarke noted that once the dead trees are felled, they’ll be left in the park because, as they decompose, logs become a valuable part of the forest floor ecosystem. Come the fall, parks staff will replace the trees three to one with Douglas firs and western red cedars.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanichparks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

Victoria’s bylaw restricting sheltering in parks won’t apply to those who accept indoor housing when it comes back into effect on May 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria bylaw restricting sheltering in parks won’t apply to those who accept indoor housing

The bylaw banning daytime camping in public parks will be reinstated on May 1

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 exposure at Pacific Christian Elementary School on April 12. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Saanich elementary school

Pacific Christian Elementary School experienced exposure on April 12

The Sooke Regional Spotlight, presented by the Federation of B.C. Writers (FBCW), features readings by nine established and emerging Sooke Region authors. (Pixabay.com)
Sooke authors to shine in province-wide event

Nine local writers star in an online ‘spotlight’ presentation

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 more COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Shannon Zirnhelt, from left, her son Lockie, 3, Julia Zirnhelt, 13, and Ella Krus, 13, co-founders of Third Planet Crusade are featured in a music video set to air on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
VIDEO: B.C.-made music video launched in time for Earth Day 2021

Singer songwriter Shannon Zirnhelt worked with Third Planet Crusade on the project in the Cariboo

Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)
B.C. paramedics responded to a record 138 overdose calls in a single day

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 51 in Fraser Health

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. COVID-19 hotspots targeted as AstraZeneca vaccine runs low

17,000 appointments booked the first day for people aged 40 and up

B.C. Ferries’ sixth Island-class vessel launches at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. The ship is the second of two that will service the Nanaimo-Gabriola Island route starting in 2022. (Photo submitted)
Second hybrid ferry for Nanaimo-Gabriola route launched overseas

Island-class vessel will enter service in 2022

Dresses hang outside Nelson city hall as part of the REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
B.C. red dresses symbolizing missing, murdered Indigenous women vandalized a 2nd time

Nelson’s REDress Project was vandalized along with an outdoor installation on Vancouver Island

Most Read