British Columbia

Vandals cut dozens of trees at Vancouver golf course

The Vancouver Park Board says dozens of trees have been 'vandalized' over the past month of January at the Langara Golf Course.

Young trees appear to have been crudely hacked, according to tweet from Vancouver Park Board

The Vancouver Park Board tweeted this image as evidence of vandalized trees on the Langara Golf Course. (Vancouver Park Board/Twitter)

The Vancouver Park Board says dozens of trees have been "discovered vandalized" over the month of January at the Langara Golf Course. 

Howard Normann, director of parks for the Vancouver Park Board, said 64 of the course's trees have been cut , some as small as eight feet tall to those 30 to 40 feet tall.

The cuts — which he says appear to have been made with a handsaw — are scattered randomly around groves on the golf course, in clumps around the perimeter and in the interior. The destroyed trees affect multiple species including sequoia, fir and alder.

Howard Normann, director of parks for the Vancouver Park Board, holds up one of the cut trees at the Langara Golf Course. (Denis Dossmann/CBC)

Normann says there's "no real rhyme or reason" for the destruction. Most of the treetops have been left behind near the cut trees, and even then, they cannot be replanted elsewhere. The trees don't impede the view of anyone, and they are too small to be used for firewood.

"This is sheer vandalism," Normann said.

Replacement costly

The golf course is located south of Langara College and was built in 1926. 

Normann said there was a lot of community involvement in the redevelopment of the course in the 1990s. One of the key results was a lot replanting of trees. Later, in the early 2000s, Normann said a proactive neighbourhood group planted over 1,500 trees around the perimeter of the course.

The Vancouver Park Board says 64 trees were sawn off by vandals at the Langara Golf Course. (Denis Dossmann/CBC)

"Really, the community loves the trees here at Langara," he said. "It's a wildlife sanctuary in a really busy part of the city."

The younger trees were an important habitat for wildlife, particularly birds. 

He says the costs of replacing the trees will be substantial, as it will not just include replacement of the trees, but labour costs to remove old trees and replant new ones. Currently, he estimates repairing the damage will be in the "tens of thousands of dollars."

Many of the tops of the trees that were cut were left in the vicinity. (Denis Dossmann/CBC)

"Every citizen of Vancouver paid for the planting of these trees, and we'll have to go through the process of replanting them," he said. "That's the sad part."

Anyone who saw suspicious activity at the golf course is asked to report it to the Vancouver police.

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