A stand of tamarack trees on Mohawk Crescent in Thunder Bay will soon face a chainsaw.

City council voted 7-6 Monday night to cut down the trees after a homeowner complained about the needles dropping on the roof of his house.


A family who owns a house behind a grouping of tamarack trees that line a highway in Thunder Bay say the trees are ruining their home's roof. City council has narrowly decided to cut the trees down. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Councillor Trevor Giertuga was concerned that agreeing to cut down the tamaracks would set a precedent, forcing the city to cut down even more trees.

"I, like Councillor [Andrew] Foulds, have to get on my roof and clean out my eavestrough and clean up the needles that come on my roof," he said.

"They fall on my vehicle, I have to clean them off my vehicle. If I don't do that for a couple years, yes, I'll have problems with my roof."

Safety questions

The cost to cut down and replant new trees behind the property is about $8,500.

Giertuga questioned the city's manager of Infrastructure and Operations about the safety issues related to the complaint.

"Is it an issue because [if] they are not cleaned up you could trip on them? That's then a maintenance issue," he said. "Are they falling and then poking people's on the top of their head?"

The manager, Darrel Matson, noted needles were dropping onto people's vehicles and damaging them.

While the homeowners felt the needles were the reason their roof was starting to deteriorate, an independent consultant said needles were not to blame for a roof deteriorating.