Vancouver Police and the Vancouver Park Board have launched an investigation after 17 maple trees were illegally cut on West 29th Avenue near Cambie Street.
According to The Province, the incident occurred during the early morning hours of January 7 between midnight and 5 a.m. within the 500 block of West 29th Avenue – just across the street from Queen Elizabeth Park and near B.C. Children’s Hospital.
All of trees were planted along the sides of the street within the municipal government’s property. The trees were also quite young as they were only planted in late 2010, growing to no more than six metres in height with trunks between 10 to 15 centimetres in diameter.
None of the nearby residents immediately noticed the absence and no reports were made to the municipality’s 3-1-1 hotline for such matters.
Park Board manager of urban forestry Howard Normann told Global News the incident took only about 10 to 15 minutes. Each of the plants cost $500, but they will be replanted soon.
The cost of the damage, which includes removing the tree stumps and replacing the trees, is estimated at $20,000.
In addition to the high cost, the incident is also an affront to the City’s recently implemented ‘Urban Forest Strategy’ to protect existing trees and plant new trees. It plans to add to Vancouver’s ‘urban forest’ by planting 150,000 additional trees on city property by 2020.
Currently, the City has more than 140,000 street trees and approximately 300,000 park trees.
Feature Image: Chainsaw via Shutterstock