Trees came splitting down in the wave of high-wind conditions in the Prince Albert area on Tuesday.
By mid-afternoon, the city’s director of Community Services Greg Zeeben reported nine downed trees in the city.
This was in spite of city crews’ ongoing efforts to trim or cut down trouble trees in the city.
Trees are cut down “When they have a large amount of decay in them and they can’t actively heal themselves.”
Using a young, healthy-looking tree that the wind downed in front of city hall on Central Avenue on Tuesday as an example, this preventative action doesn’t mitigate all problems.
“A tree can look absolutely healthy, but a micro-burst (coms) and it will come down,” Zeeben said. “That’s what we call an act of God.”
With Prince Albert’s canopy of century-old trees a source of pride for residents, Coun. Ted Zurakowski asked city administration during Monday’s council meeting for some explanation as to why city staff cut down trees along Sixth Avenue West this year.
“Once we started looking at doing the project, we realized that the water main being underneath being from 1913, that leaving that water main there wasn’t a good idea,” the city’s director of Public Works Colin Innes explained.
Whether we love trees or not, they don’t live forever and I think all we have to do is have a better plan to ensure the residents, as soon as they’re removed we’ll have the stumps removed and we’ll replant - Coun. Greg Dionne
“It’s a busy right of way — there are two gas lines, there’s a water main in there as well as storm and sanitary, so moving the water main wasn’t something that was feasible, so that necessitated trees coming down.”
In addition to that, the trees posed a safety hazard due to their rotting from the inside out.
“These are trees that make Prince Albert, and I could understand how the neighbourhood would be affected,” Mayor Jim Scarrow said.
“I do love trees as well, but at the end of the day we have lots of areas where the trees are 100 years old,” Coun. Greg Dionne said.
“Whether we love trees or not, they don’t live forever and I think all we have to do is have a better plan to ensure the residents, as soon as they’re removed we’ll have the stumps removed and we’ll replant.”