Surrey trees stripped of their bark
For at least a week, someone has been stripping the bark off of the Western red cedar trees in Hazelnut Meadows Park.
Whether it’s mischievous kids or troublesome adults, area resident Gay Taylor isn’t happy.
“They’re going to kill the whole forest,” she said.
Taylor, who often walks through the park, was told of the damage by a friend who also frequents the forest near 140 Street and 70 Avenue. After seeing the damage for herself, she called the City of Surrey’s parks department to find a resolution. Taylor said she was told that without the protection of the bark, the trees will eventually die.
“I don’t think people realize they’ll kill the trees,” she said.
In total, eight trees have been stripped, some around the entire circumference of the trunk, stretching up as high as seven metres.
Taylor said she suspects the perpetrators are acting at night, as the park is so regularly used during daylight hours and someone would have seen suspicious activity and reported it.
“I’ve thought about staying out here with some spray or something,” said Taylor, a self-described tree lover. “I’ve asked myself, ‘can I stay out here all night?’”
Parks manager Owen Croy said that without bark, there’s no way the trees can actively transport water through the roots and it’s only a matter of time before they will die.
“It’s a senseless act of vandalism that will result in the death of eight Western red cedars,” he said.
Croy said stripping the bark off the trees is illegal and could result in a $2,000 fine.
A dozen signs were erected throughout the park informing people that removal of the bark is strictly prohibited and will lead to the death of the trees. Many of the signs have also since been vandalized.
Croy said he has stepped up bylaw patrols in the area to deter people from doing any more damage, but said it’s impossible for officers to be there all the time.
If you have any information about the vandalized trees, call 604-501-5050.
- by Dan Pearce