Beautiful shade trees chopped down along Kelowna street | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Beautiful shade trees chopped down along Kelowna street

This is the look of desolation along Dilworth Drive in Kelowna where shade trees once stood.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Gerry Barker
September 17, 2021 - 6:00 AM

Where have all the young trees gone? Long time passing.

That’s a slight distortion of an old Pete Seeger song but something that likely passed through Gerry Barker’s mind as he drove down Dilworth Drive in Kelowna after being away for part of August.

“I came back and was shocked (almost) to see these lovely mature shade trees gone,” he wrote in an email to iNFOnews.ca. “I am sure a lot of people going by would like to know why they were chopped down as well.”

The trees lined the street between Springfield and Baron Roads where the farmer’s market is held, and the former School District 23 office which is the site of a new apartment complex.

This is the look of desolation along Dilworth Drive in Kelowna where shade trees once stood.
This is the look of desolation along Dilworth Drive in Kelowna where shade trees once stood.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Gerry Barker

But the culprit was not the developer cutting trees just to make construction easier, as Barker speculated.

“The trees needed to be removed to accommodate a new right-turn lane required in that location to manage traffic flow around new development in the area,” the City of Kelowna parks department said in an email.

In addition to the apartment buildings going up at the site, Costco is building a new location just a littler further down Baron Road.

READ MORE: New Kelowna Costco gets final council approval but not without some controversy

“The city’s Municipal Properties Tree Bylaw requires an equal number of trees be planted for every tree removed for whatever necessary reason,” the parks department email says. “We are in discussions now to determine where new trees might be planted, or equitable financial compensation provided to buy new mature trees.”

So, yes, the trees are long gone but they will be replaced in some fashion somewhere.

READ MORE: An outdoor banana tree in the Okanagan? Here's how you can grow yours


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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