Eagle tree cutting raises concerns with Vancouver neighbours

Several large trees including two massive Douglas firs have been cut down this week to make way for a new home on a Point Grey property — trees some neighbours say provide local eagles a place to call home.

Homeowner has permits to cut four large trees

A stump is all that remains of a Douglas Fir on a Point Grey property where the homeowner has city permits to remove four of the big trees. Some neighbours say the trees are used by eagles in the area. (CBC)

Several large trees including two massive Douglas firs have been cut down this week to make way for a new home on a Point Grey property — trees some neighbours say provide local eagles a place to call home.

However, the company cutting them down and others who live in the area say that at more than 30 metres tall, the trees are a hazard.

An eagle flies near the Point Grey property where neighbours say two Douglas Firs were cut down in which the birds used to perch. (CBC)

The cutting comes despite the City of Vancouver's recent plans to plant 150,000 more trees to increase the city's dwindling tree canopy.

The City has also introduced bylaw amendments requiring special permits in order to cut trees on private property.

Neighbour Sarah Wheeler says she knows the homeowners have permits, but wonders whether anyone noticed the eagles.

"It just seems to be that if they assess the trees for permits, they may have missed the fact that they were, in fact, eagle-roosting trees right by the water," she said.

Wheeler took photographs of the birds in the trees and even made a T-shirt out of one.

Sarah Wheeler talks to reporters about her concerns over trees in which eagles routinely perch being cut to make way for a new home in Point Grey. (CBC)

But tree cutter Joseph Klimo, the man actually doing the work, says the permits are in order and the big trees are a hazard.

"They just let it grow, like in the forest," he said. "You can't leave that in a residential area."

Point Grey resident Alberto El-Baba agrees.

"You know, every year in winter we have big branches going down, and I'm afraid that, you know, one day, it's going to hit somebody," he said.

The City of Vancouver wasn't able to reveal what sort of permits the property owner had obtained.

With files from the CBC's Dan Burritt

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