The towering Maple trees of Rendall Park have withstood years, probably decades, of harsh winter storms, whipped sand from the beachfront and more. They’ve been marked by innumerable dogs and probably been the site of a few romantic trysts.
But careless gardening techniques have bested these giants. Nearly half the old Maple trees in Rendall Park are coming down.
According to a staff report to the Harrison of Hot Springs Village Council, the towering Maple trees are showing extreme stages of deterioration after many years of “poor pruning practice.”
“There has been severe branch fall from these trees in the last two years,” states the report. “Concerns were raised, as this is an area for picnic, walking and Beach use.”
Staff hired a company in December, 2014 to investigate the condition of all the old trees in the park. They found of the 24 trees, 11 need to be removed, 10 need to be pruned and three are in acceptable condition.
Considering the same crews would have been pruning all the trees in the village, Crane says it is possible that other trees may be deteriorating as well, though no formal investigation has taken place yet.
“It appears the same style pruning was done along some of the trees along Lillooet Ave. west as well,” says Crane. “We haven’t tested or looked at those trees at all but they were treated in the same fashion, pruned incorrectly.”
Staff focused on Rendall Park for now due to its popularity and the obvious need for some of the trees to be removed.
Once the budget for this year is approved, the contract will be awarded. Crane says the Village hopes to have the work completed prior to the peak tourist season. They have had three quotes for the tree removal of trees, pruning, and grinding of stumps, with the lowest bid at just under $12,000.
The arborist company hired for the investigation, Scott’s Tree Care, did site visits in February. They conducted a visual assessment as well as core samples. Their report states that 20 of the trees were “topped hard” and “clearance pruned.” They also found a disease in several specimens which is “considered to be one of the most dangerous to trees as it attacks the root system as well as the heartwood,” called Kretzschmaria deusta.
The Village’s Public Works crews started planting a combination of Red Maple, Gingko and Dogwood approximately six years ago on the east side of Rendall park. In the fall of 2015, the Village aims to have a plan for planting more new trees in the west half of Rendall park, continuing with a combination of Red Maple, Gingko and Dogwood trees.