Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Why destroy forest to save the trees?

Local resident concerned about damage caused by diseased tree removals

  • Print

A Southdale resident is alarmed by the manner in which city forestry workers removed some trees with Dutch elm disease near her home this spring.

Charlotte Kaminsky estimates that around 20 trees were removed from a small wooded area owned by the Royal Canadian Mint, which buffers the backyard of her Newcombe Crescent home to the north.

"The city workers decided to take the approach of bulldozing the forest in order to reach the diseased trees to haul them out," Kaminsky said. "In doing so, they have destroyed countless other trees, bushes and animal habitat in the process."

"There were other options open to them, as a large open area in the centre of the wooded area, already created on a previous cull, could have been used to burn the trees," Kaminsky said. "This small nature patch is much used and appreciated by walkers and nature lovers in the vicinity. Why do we have to destroy the forest to save the trees?"

A City of Winnipeg spokesperson said the trees were removed by the city’s urban forestry operations as part of the Dutch elm disease program.

She said the crews used established trails for access and "needed to use equipment to access these kinds of areas and get the wood out of there."

"It is inevitable with this heavy equipment and the tree removal operation that there may be some disturbance in heavily-treed areas and natural areas. There may be some other plant material that may be disturbed during these removal operations," the spokesperson said. "In this particular case, it appears some blackthorn and some dead trees were pushed around.

Our crews are sensitive to having as little impact as possible, which is why we typically perform removals in these kinds of areas when the ground is frozen. The burning of these trees is dependent on wind conditions and these wind conditions were not favourable at that time."

She added the majority of trees were removed from "private property" but would not disclose who owns the land. A "couple" of the trees were removed from the city-owned Burmac Park, which is east of Newcombe Crescent.

The spokesperson said the city has authority to enter private property to control Dutch elm disease under the Forest Health Protection Act.

"It is our practice to contact the private property owners before we enter their lands to remove trees," she said.

A spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mint said he was not aware of the trees being removed until he was contacted by The Lance.

Kaminsky, a retired schoolteacher and principal, walks in the area twice a day with her puppy and is also concerned about drainage in the area.

"Do we want to deal with the drainage issue and plant new trees? On the flipside, I think it is natural there will be dead trees, but there must be something to do as a community to preserve and protect the area," Kaminsky said.

"The area is beautiful and used by a number of people. It’s a privilege to live next to it and we’ve seen foxes, rabbits, deer and owls. It should be a celebrated place."

Kaminsky would consider setting up a group with like-minded community members with an interest in the area, if there was enough local support. Her email is charlotte_kaminsky@yahoo.com

Regarding the trees in Burmac Park, community members can call the city naturalist at 204-986-2036.

Facebook.com/TheLanceWPG
Twitter: @lanceWPG

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Are you concerned about West Nile Virus?

View Results