Fredericton tallies tree damage from storm Arthur

One week after post-tropical storm Arthur downed and damaged trees in Fredericton, known as the City of Stately Elms, crews are still tallying the loss and cleaning up the mess.

Heavily forested city parks remain closed as cleanup of toppled trees continues

The City of Fredericton is still assessing the damage to trees in the capital from post-tropical storm Arthur and cleaning up the mess.

Two workers in Fredericton were busy on Monday clearing a large tree that fell on Lansdowne Avenue as a result of post-tropical storm Arthur. (Daniel McHardie/CBC)
The latest estimate is that more than 4,000 trees were broken or toppled over by the high winds and heavy rains last weekend.

But that does not include trees on private property or in city parks. The city is responsible for 30,000 street and ornamental park trees.

Don Murray, the city's manager of parks and trees, says the impact at the heavily forested Odell Park was devastating.

"When I was driving one trail, I would look in and there was literally hundreds of [downed] trees. Areas that was a complete canopy are now wide open areas," Murray told CBC News.

"One would fall into the other and just topple like pick-up sticks," he said.

Arthur's winds were so strong, even trees grouped together couldn't be protected, said Murray.

"All it takes is one failure, and then once you open up a hole, you open up a canopy of trees that had never seen winds like that before, and the roots probably aren’t stable enough to take the 100-kilometre winds or whatever we experienced here in Fredericton," he said.

"As soon as you topple one, it weakens the next one, weakens the next one, and then it gives a bite for the wind to get on the lower canopy of many of those trees.”

Odell Park and Killarney Lake Park remain closed one week after the storm.

Weekend cleanup

Murray says student workers will be out this weekend cleaning up, but he says it'sunlikely Fredericton, known as the City of Stately Elms, will replace the downed trees.

Fredericton's Odell Park remains closed one week after storm Arthur as crews continue to clean up downed and damaged trees. (Redmond Shannon/CBC)
He expects the city will let nature take its course, he said.

Meanwhile, tree cleanup throughout the rest of the city will continue into next week, Wayne Tallon, director of the city's Emergency Measures Organization, stated in a release.

Trees are off houses, and roadways and the majority of driveways are now open, said Tallon. Damaged trees posing an immediate threat are also being removed with the help of six J.D. Irving logging trucks, he said.

The Department of Public Safety is reminding residents across the province not to leave any brush fires unattended.

"There have been reports of brush fires spreading to structures and to the environment," the department stated in a release on Saturday.

Anyone burning brush is urged to follow the provincial open burning guidelines.

For Fredericton residents who want to remove their own fallen tree materials, the city has set up three disposal sites:

  • The empty lot next to the car wash on Two Nations Crossing, near the city’s parks and trees depot (open 24 hours daily).
  • The municipal compost facility at the old landfill near the Vanier Industrial Park (open from dawn to dusk).
  • The former Silverwood lagoon, opposite Orchard Drive.

Materials collected will be taken to the city’s compost facility to be turned into topsoil.

Tree debris taken to a landfill will be charged the appropriate disposal fee, officials said.