Maples beat out oaks, though consultant says SD61 making a mistake

Seamus Howley, director of facilities for the Greater Victoria School District confirmed that seismic upgrading and renovations at the school led to the removal of the dying trees. Their trunks were also in decay, as outlined in a Feb. 28 removal permit issued to the school district.

  • Sep. 6, 2011 11:00 a.m.

They were a symbol of life over death, of victory and of Canadian soldiers.

They were seven silver maple memorial trees planted on April 20, 1917 along Vining Street at Victoria High school to honour those who fought in the First World War.

Last March they were removed, sparking a debate over what trees should replace the maples.

Seamus Howley, director of facilities for the Greater Victoria School District confirmed that seismic upgrading and renovations at the school led to the removal of the dying trees. Their trunks were also in decay, as outlined in a Feb. 28 removal permit issued to the school district.

The district would like to see the trees replaced with a similar maple tree and, at this point, are considering red maples.

“Within a relative short period of time,” Howley said, “the school and the community would have the same appearance that was there before.”

However, an expert consulted about replacing the trees actually advised against maples.

Ray Travers says oak trees are better suited for the urban site and will live about 300 years, twice as long as maples.

A forester, Travers is also a member of the Pacific Coast Branch of the Western Front Association, which works to raise awareness of the First World War.

Last year, the Greater Victoria School District held an open consultation, advising the community that the trees needed to come down and asking for input.

The trees will be planted in a commemorative ceremony on Nov. 10, 2011. The cost of the new trees, excluding labour, is estimated at $5,000.

“From a symbolic point of view, (memorial) trees are seen as a victory of life over death,” Travers said. “They are also places where families could come and grieve … a symbol of their soldier sons marching off along tree-lined streets in France and Flanders to the front where many of them didn’t come home.”

nnorth@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Garden suite applications on the rise, but not without a few hitches: staff report

Victoria city council to hear update on revised garden suite application process

Armoury event highlights Canada’s D-Day efforts in Normandy

Event runs Saturday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Bay Street Armoury

Canadians smoke less according to community health survey

Obesity and heavy drinking rates remain steady

Canada Day comes early with Oak Bay celebration

Fun continues with first free concert in the park Friday evening

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

VIDEO: Stop-motion artist recreates Kawhi Leonard’s famous buzzer-beater

It took Jared Jacobs about 40 hours to make the video, on top of the research

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Most Read