New power lines will merge at a telephone pole where a heritage maple tree once stood outside 816 Carbonate St. Photo: Jensen Edwards

Heritage tree torn down, to be replaced with telephone pole

Underground cable option would be too expensive, says city.

JENSEN EDWARDS

Nelson Star

A new four-unit apartment building in Uphill has forced the city to cut down a neighbouring heritage maple tree.

Late-risers in the neighbourhood woke up Thursday to a rumbling woodchipper and whining chainsaws as a city crew made quick work of the task, hardly leaving a stump behind by 2pm. The city had planned to cut it down more than two weeks ago, but residents’ protests prompted forced the delay.

The tree that stretched across from 816 Carbonate St. to shade the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road will make way for a telephone pole to connect the new building to existing circuits.

After considering an underground route for electrical and telecom cables, the city decided that it would be cheaper to go above ground. Officials said that replacing the tree with a service pole was the only feasible route.

“The underground option [would have had] the most impact to residents and [have been] the most expensive as well,” said supervisor of Parks and Public Works for Nelson Craig Stanley in an email.

To run the cables underground, Stanley said, would mean having to tear up a section of the street as well as a rock retaining wall. Cost for underground construction would be wildly variable and risk stretching far beyond initial estimates, Stanley warned.

Regardless, some neighbours say that cutting down the ranging maple will have a negative effect on the street. Hanging on the tree on Wednesday was a cardboard version of Dr. Seuss’s most famous environmentalist, the Lorax. The character, painted by a local child, held a sign that read:

“I am the Lorax and I speak for the trees, and Uphill! This community […] doesn’t want the city to cut down this tree! For it’s [sic] shade provides comfort and safety as well as good growing conditions. […] Put that telephone pole on another plot of grass because trees need to live. This tree has lived here for years upon years, so don’t end that now! – Lorax.”

By citing the maple’s age, Uphill’s resident Lorax is appealing to Carbonate Street’s official heritage designation, in part thanks to the “mature boulevard trees” that line the road.

When another Uphill heritage tree was slated to be cut down in 2006 by the city, neighbours rallied together, vowing to chain themselves to the black walnut tree in question. The “doughnut tree,” whose branches part through the centre to allow for electrical cables to run through, still stands, 12 years later at the intersection of Cedar St. and Mill St.

Just Posted

Four-storey development slated for Hall-Front intersection in Nelson

Building will be mixed commercial and residential

Wildflower School to keep its bee hive

City council voted to give the school a bylaw exemption

Nearby wildfire closes Idaho Peak

The popular hiking spot is off limits to the public

Granite Pointe’s GM honoured among world’s top golf teachers

David Belling has been included on a top-100 list

VIDEO: Nelson Leafs prepare for new season with training camp

Forty-seven players hit the ice last weekend

VIDEO: Monday Roundup: Aug. 13, 2018

The Nelson Star’s weekly news roundup

Plane fighting wildfire crashes near Canada/U.S. border

The plane experienced an unknown problem.

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Darkwoods Conservation is closed to all public road access due to wildfires

Boat access to Tye along the shore of Kootenay Lake is still permitted.

Most Read