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

Nelson candidates debate climate change at forum

Mayoral and council candidates had the chance to speak on five fictional resolutions

UPDATE: Nelson man who swam naked with sharks arrested

David Weaver, 37, will face mischief and assault charges

Three Nelson marijuana dispensaries to remain open after legalization

Nelson’s police chief has no plans to close them down

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

LETTER: Beware those toeing the party line

Reader Bob Malcolmson questions CORE

VIDEO: First legal cannabis purchases as midnight strikes in eastern Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province to kick off the sale of cannabis, just after midnight local time

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Carole James avoids questions on B.C.’s payroll tax (with video)

Green MLA Adam Olsen cites huge tax increase for local business

Most Read