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

Several Langley homes and projects honoured with Georgie Awards

Grenor Homes took home Best Single Family Kitchen Up To $150,000 for Redwoods Manor in Langley

VIDEO: Record turnout for third annual Langley car show against cancer

Brogan’s Diner Fight Against Cancer Car Show was turned into a road trip because of COVID-19

Langley City re-opens Monday to limited weight room and fitness classes

Still no drop-ins allowed, but some pre-registered appointments possible at Timms Community Centre

Langley artist Lalita Hamill launches new website to showcase art and share instructional videos

A Zoom session on Saturday, July 18, will serve as a free art assessment and critique at 10 a.m.

Langley resident could be the next Maxim Magazine covergirl

Kyla Steele is currently sixth place out of 48 in the online voting contest quarter-finals

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Most Read