Because support straps were left on too long, several newly planted trees had to be removed from McBurney Plaza in Langley City. New trees were planted in early June, 2020. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

New trees in Langley City’s McBurney Plaza had to be replaced because support straps were not removed

‘They basically strangled the trees’

Somehow, the need to remove support straps from new trees in Langley City’s McBurney plaza was forgotten, and by the time anyone remembered, it was too late to save them.

Teri James, the executive director of the Downtown Langley Business Association (DLBA) and a Langley City councillor, said because the straps which were used to support the freshly planted trees were left on too long, “they basically strangled the trees.”

By the time the problem was discovered, Jame said the trees had to come down.

“The trees were a fire hazard,” James remarked.

“That’s the honest truth. It was only a matter of time before they were all dead.”

READ ALSO: Picnics and downtown dollar contests announced for Langley City this summer

Rick Bomhof, Langley City director of engineering, parks and environment called it an “installation issue.”

“Things somehow fell through the cracks,” Bomhof told the Langley Advance Times.

“Basically, it [the strap] choked the tree at the base.”

When the mistake came to light, Bomhof said one tree was dead and a number of others were “severely stressed.”

Bomhof said it isn’t clear how the mistake was made after talks between the City and the contractor and designer responsible for the tree planting.

“No one’s really said, ‘we made a mistake here,’” Bomhof related.

However, the design consultant agreed to work on revamping the plaza for free and and the new trees were provided “at cost,” for about $6,000, plus the expense of pulling out the original trees and improving irrigation and drainage in the plaza, Bomhof said.

James said some good has come from the replanting, which wrapped up in early June, because the City did touch base with the DLBA about a redesign before it acted.

“They were kind enough to consult with us,” James said, and as a result, the number of new trees has been slightly reduced, from a dozen to 10, to allow more room for public events in the plaza.

READ ALSO: Street trees on One-Way in Langley City to be replaced

As for the trees that were earlier removed from the one-way that passes by McBurney, Bomhof said the city has put in for a federal grant to fund the project, but when a decision might be made on the application is hard to say.

Most of the trees were taken out because because some were creating tripping hazards by making the sidewalk heave upwards and others had been excessively trimmed to let power and telephone lines run over them, creating what Bomhof described as an “aesthetically unpleasing appearance” in a 2018 report to council.

Bomhof said the trees along Fraser Highway between 204 and 206 Streets, where the road narrows to a one-way single lane, were “not the appropriate type of species for pedestrian sidewalk areas.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Langley CityPolitics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Otter Co-op expands to North Vancouver brewery and Abbotsford pub

Aldergrove-borne enterprise delves into hospitality realm with three new Angry Otter liquor stores

LETTER: Pandemic doubles food containers littering on Fort Langley street

A local walker has noticed a substantial increase in litter in her neighbourhood

LETTER: More traffic enforcement needed in Fort Langley, one resident pleads

Irresponsible drivers using the village and surrounding area as circuit – says Fort advocate

Group of Langley co-workers wins $145K with Lotto Max

Everyone was on days off when they heard the news they’d won the lottery

T-Rex earns big bids at Langley dino auction

More than 500 dino-themed items sold to buyers from across North America

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read