Fifteen pine and fir trees were levelled in the Saanich core last Friday because their roots began to crack the surrounding sidewalks and asphalt.
The trees, which bordered Saanich Plaza along Blanshard Street to the west and Vernon Avenue to the east were assessed by Saanich’s risk management crews at the request of the property’s land owner, Hansbraun Investments.
It was determined that they should be cut down, said Doug Henderson, director of parks and recreation at the District.
“Those pine trees were causing some infrastructure damage to the sidewalk and road area,” Henderson said.
Hansbraun is familiar with the strict Saanich policiies around tree removal as the outfit runs multiple commercial malls in Saanich, including Royal Oak and Saanich Centre.
“The trees were wreaking havoc and affecting drainage, so we’re taking this as an opportunity to replace them with trees that are not so invasive root-wise,” said Hansbraun Investments president Victoria Shannon.
The trees will be replaced with Galaxy magnolias and Pin oaks.
“The work is ongoing to remove the roots and we’ll redo multiple sections of sidewalk,” Shannon said. “The sidewalk has some unsafe drops so we’ll put in proper, sloping drops and make the area more pedestrian friendly.”