Few leafy losses following summer of drought in Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Few leafy losses following summer of drought in Kelowna

All that remains of a 50-year-old cottonwood tree that fell over in Water Street boat launch parking lot.
September 30, 2015 - 11:30 AM

KELOWNA - All that remains of the two large cottonwood trees that used to shade the city parking lot at the Water Street boat launch are the two big holes where they once stood.

One tree snapped and fell over Monday night, Sept. 28, and the other tree was removed by city crews as a precaution.

Both were at least 50 years old and on the decline. The drought this summer likely helped finish them off, urban forestry manager Blair Stewart says.

“We knew eventually they would go, that it was just a matter of time. We thought they would last a bit longer.”

While the cottonwoods didn’t fare so well, Stewart says the summer of drought has yet to have a major impact on the city’s tree inventory — some 24,000 trees located on city property including some parks.

“We’ve been trying to water trees like everybody else, on odd-even days. They are pretty resilient and should recover from this, although obviously prolonged drought will have a signifcant effect on a tree.”

Stewart says heat load from high average temperatures is what will cause a tree to show signs of stress.

“The leaves will curl and you will see leaf scorch, where the rims of the leaves turn brown."

While trees inside city parks receive regular irrigation, trees along boulevards on residential streets mostly rely on local residents to water them, Stewart says.

The Okanagan region is currently at a level three, very dry, drought level while Kelowna remains on stage one watering restrictions.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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