'Nuisance' tree calls on the rise in Thunder Bay

Just days after Thunder Bay city council voted to cut down a stand of tamarack trees in the Northwood area, the city forester's office has already received more calls from residents who want their so-called 'nuisance' trees removed as well.

Influx of calls to infrastructure and operations department

A stand of tamarack trees near Mohawk Crescent is due to be cut down and replaced with white spruce, after a narrow vote by Thunder Bay City Council. (Adam Burns/CBC)

Just days after Thunder Bay city council voted to cut down a stand of tamarack trees in Northwood, the city forester's office is already receiving more calls from residents who want their "nuisance" trees removed as well.

The influx of calls began just a day after council narrowly voted to replace 11 tamarack trees near Mohawk Crescent with white spruce, after a resident complained the trees’ needles were damaging his property.

"What we're seeing is individuals that have called in the past that are saying, 'Can you still come and deal now with this particular tree?'” said Darrell Matson, general manager of the city’s infrastructure and operations department.

Thunder Bay manager of operations and infrastructure, Darrell Matson (CBC)

“And we're seeing an influx of new calls, who are saying 'Could you come and take a look at this tree, because we believe it needs to come down,'” he added.

Dangerous precedent

Some councillors had argued that the decision sets a dangerous precedent, encouraging others to call in with complaints about trees.

Matson said he expected his office to receive more calls after Monday night’s vote and that staff are there 24 hours a day, recording and responding to them. But he says so far, they haven’t had to bring in more people to handle the volume of calls.

Matson says he doesn’t know yet if any of the calls are about tamarack trees.

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