Volunteers Rick Marshall, Ron Carter and Jacquie Bird remove years worth of ivy from a native plum tree that stands on the seawall next to Queens Park along Beach Drive. Years of growth of invasive English ivy had choked the plum tree from the beach side and blocked the view of the bay. (Rick Marshall Photo)

Volunteers Rick Marshall, Ron Carter and Jacquie Bird remove years worth of ivy from a native plum tree that stands on the seawall next to Queens Park along Beach Drive. Years of growth of invasive English ivy had choked the plum tree from the beach side and blocked the view of the bay. (Rick Marshall Photo)

Standalone Beach Drive plum tree gets love

Ivy pulled off plum tree next to Queens’ Park

A group of volunteers spent May 16 removing the well-established English ivy from a plum tree along the seawall next to Queens’ Park.

The result is a remarkable contrast as the plum tree now stands alone.

It is the latest project by the Queens’ Park volunteers.

(Inset photo from before the volunteer work was taken on to remove the ivy. By Rick Marshall.)

“The volume of invasive plants volunteers have removed from Queen’s Park has been tremendous,” said Chris Hyde-Lay, Oak Bay’s manager of parks services.

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Oak Bay Parks staff approved all work beforehand and hauled away the large pile of debris. It’s part of an ongoing effort by Oak Bay Parks and volunteers to remove overgrowth of invasive plants and shrubs form the popular park, in order to clear views of the Salish Sea and promote native plant species.

The prominent plum tree is easily recognizable along the Oak Bay waterfront at the Beach Drive intersection with Windsor Road. Years of uninterrupted growth allowed the English ivy to choke the plum tree from the beach side of the seawall, said volunteer Rick Marshall.

It not only blocked the view of the bay, but also threatened the plum tree.

As a bonus, the ivy removal revealed a native black hawthorn tree growing by the stump of the large old Garry oak, which died was removed in the 1980s, Marshall said.

“Work will continue to protect and promote the native tree, possibly a scion of the very impressive Hawthorn on the boulevard just across the sidewalk,” he added.

Volunteers work most Thursday mornings and welcome helpers at the site.

reporter@oakbaynews.com