Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy

Well-known tree removed from gardens outside Vernon City Hall

The horse chestnut tree was a popular stopping place for locals, and a welcome reprieve from the summer sun.
March 16, 2016 - 1:00 PM

VERNON - A popular, public place to sit downtown Vernon won't quite feel the same this summer. 

After providing shade and tranquility to passersby for many years, a large chestnut tree has seen its final season. Located just outside of Vernon City Hall in Civic Square, the tree was a popular place for city staffers to take their lunch breaks, and for walkers to stop and sit. On warm summer days, families could be found picnicking under the foliage while children played in the square.

But, if you walk by today, you’ll notice the well-known horse chestnut tree, believed to be about 70 years old, is gone.

“It’s been dying for a while but last summer was its last summer in the Civic Square. Large dead trees are dangerous and a liability, so it was removed,” city communications officer Tanya Laing Gahr says. “We’ll sure miss its shade in the summer. I think everyone who works at City Hall loved that tree.”

The tree was chopped down in November 2015 and fully removed in mid-March 2016.
The tree was chopped down in November 2015 and fully removed in mid-March 2016.

The tree was chopped down to its stump earlier this winter and removed completely last weekend, leaving a large hole in its place. 

Coun. Catherine Lord will miss the tree and says it’s been around City Hall as long as she has.

“I started in 1987 and it’s been there since then,” she says.

While the tree is gone for good, the city plans to keep its spirit alive. As soon as the weather warms up, Lord says a new tree will be planted in its place, possibly a black walnut. The same benches will be put back and the area restored to its former state.

Coun. Juliette Cunningham says a different chestnut tree in Civic Square was removed a few years ago, and its replacement is already leafing out.

She expects it won’t be long before people are enjoying the shade of the new, soon-to-be-planted tree, without the concern of having a branch fall on their heads.

The tree is believed to be about 70-years-old.
The tree is believed to be about 70-years-old.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile