Giant sequoia in deteriorating condition

District should consider efforts to protect tree in Saanich’s Gorge Waterway Park

I feel obliged to comment further about the deteriorating condition of the giant sequoia located in Saanich’s Gorge Waterway Park between Austin and Dysart avenues.

Perhaps the loss of adequate air, water and TLC over the past year is the last straw that will kill the camel’s back (asequoia). Even before the paved parking area surrounding the tree was taken over for storage by the sewer contractor, maybe the sequoia was only just managing to survive its urban surroundings.

In this instance, the preservation of the urban forest that is so dear to Saanich residents and visitors needs a re-appraisal of the status quo. When once the contractor has moved its stuff and gone away, the remediation and reinstatement of the park might benefit from some improvements.

I would like to suggest that the vehicle parking area that used to surround the sequoia be reassessed: We have been without it for over a year, with no adverse results.

Reinstate as pedestrian, cycle and wheelchair precinct only. If vehicle parking is that essential, then remove asphalt (which has deteriorated anyway) and replace with “permeable pavement” which would allow more precipitation to reach the sequoia tree roots. I question how an adjacent tree with a lower root zone area (with a protective wall) that is almost a metre deeper than that for the sequoia, does not appear to be under such distress.

For support to this enquiry, I must refer to a TV newsreel comment made by a City of Victoria park manager, upon the recent removal of the tent city clutter surrounding the park adjacent the courthouse, that he urgently wanted to get some water to all of the trees and shrubs that had been closeted (for just a few months).

P.W. Bailey

Saanich