A second Empress tree on White Rock’s waterfront will have to be removed, the city announced Wednesday, adding that the situation is ‘unfortunate.’ (Aaron Hinks photo)

Second, ailing Empress tree to be removed at Memorial Park

Waterfront feature will be replaced by hardier oaks

An ailing second Empress tree on the waterfront – adjacent to the ongoing upgrade of Memorial Park – will have to be removed, according to a post made Wednesday to the City of White Rock website.

A first Empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) in the park was cut down in February, after city arborists discovered that its lack of strong, deep roots would make it impossible to relocate.

But the city says that while the removal of the second tree is “unfortunate,” it plans to replace it with two trees of an oak variety that should prove hardier.

According to the post, the arborists had discovered the second Empress is “in decline,” and, due to extensive root damage, is likely to fall on the BNSF tracks when the current slope-retaining wall is removed as part of the park-upgrade project.

A large cavity in the main stem indicates a sizable “rot pocket,” the post adds.

“One third of the tree is now dead and that when checked in the summer, the leaves in the tree were very limp indicating poor water intake and root damage, though the accepted tree barriers were still in place.”

On Thursday, city spokesperson Farnaz Farrokhi said “no date has been provided yet” for removal of the tree.

According to the post, however, the city plans to replace the tree in the middle of November.

Two Pin Oak trees (Quercus palustris) – the same variety chosen to replace the first Empress – are slated to take its place.

The trees, among the faster-growing oaks, are anticipated to reach a height of 25 feet and are estimated to have a 99 per cent survivability rate.

The city also says it will take steps to keep the trunk of the Empress and examine ways of further honouring it through a public art piece.

Just Posted

Man ‘seriously’ injured in crash after driving wrong way on Highway 17: Surrey RCMP

Police say the sedan hit a transport truck, then another car

Easter ‘eggstravaganza’ event planned for South Surrey

Event is to run from 12-3 p.m. at Dufferin Park (17355 2 Ave.).

Update: Surrey Mounties found missing man

Kuldip Sandhu, 41, had been reported missing

IHIT hunting in Edmonton for clues to 2017 Surrey homicide

Tanner Krupa, 19 was found dead in an alley in August 2017, in the 6900-block of 127A Street

Langley police seek new leads in hit and run cold case

Six years ago, someone struck a young woman with a car and drove off

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read