Thunder Bay·Audio

Arborist questions decision to remove 'healthy' trees

An arborist in Thunder Bay is questioning city council's decision to cut down a stand of tamaracks

Thunder Bay council decides have stand of tamarack trees removed after homeowner complains

Jay Dampier says it's 'ridiculous' to cut down a stand of healthy tamarack trees near Mohawk Crescent in Thunder Bay. (Adam Burns/CBC)

An arborist in Thunder Bay is questioning city council's decision to cut down a stand of tamaracks.

“This decision by council just runs absolutely counter to the positive work that the city has already done,” said Jay Dampier, an arborist who also runs a blog called Thunder Bay Trees.

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 roof. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Dampier said he found council’s Monday vote to remove the trees near Mohawk Crescent “frustrating” in light of the fact the city's urban forestry staff have worked hard to make the city more "green.”

When he first started his blog, Dampier said he didn't want it to be political, "but that all changed earlier this week.”

Council's decision to remove 11 tamarack trees in the wake of residents’ complaints, will cost the city about $8,500.

"It's partly the financial responsibility that I have a bit of an issue with … and … taking down perfectly healthy trees just seems ridiculous to me,” he said.

Thunder Bay Parks manager Paul Fayrick says his department receives a lot of complaints about nuisance trees, most of which are rejected. (Adam Burns/CBC)

The manager of the city's parks department said it gets a lot of complaints about so-called "nuisance trees," most of which it rejects.

"And if the homeowner, or whoever's complaining, doesn't like what we've told them, then they have the right to go to council through deputation,” Paul Fayrick said.

The homeowner in this case told council tamarack needles have been damaging his roof.

Jay Dampier said he’s skeptical.

"I don't want to disparage the homeowners either, but there's been no evidence whatsoever, as far as I can tell, that these needles cause roof damage."

Dampier's not the only one questioning Council's decision.

A chorus of complaints on the matter can be found on social media websites.


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