A worker removes one of several trees damaged by root rot from Hunter Park. City council has approved a plan to repair the damage that will recycle the trees into park benches.                                File photo

A worker removes one of several trees damaged by root rot from Hunter Park. City council has approved a plan to repair the damage that will recycle the trees into park benches. File photo

VIDEO: Langley City park plan will recycle trees damaged by root rot

City council approves plan to rebuild Hunter Park

A plan to rebuild Hunter Park in Langley City will see some of the trees that were destroyed by laminated root rot recycled into park benches.

The design will feature a meandering gravel path, picnic benches and a low rail fence.

Some of the benches will be made with wood recycled from the trees taken down last year.

The plan was approved by council at the April 24 meeting.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what some of those little benches will look like,” mayor Ted Schaffer said.

All the firs and hemlocks in the municipal park on 45A Avenue off 200 Street were removed last year because the disease, also known as yellow ring rot, had been detected in several trees.

It cost the City $40,000 to remove the diseased trees before they could become a public safety hazard and the redevelopment will cost an estimated $160,000.

A visit to the park by the Times while the removal was underway last year showed freshly cut stumps of apparently healthy trees had dark stains in the core, evidence of infection.

In other fallen trees, the infection was more advanced and the interior was rotted out.

The rot spreads through root-to-root contact between conifers and can remain viable for up to 50 years.

Council was told it will be decades before hemlocks or firs can be replanted in the park.

Trees that get the fungal pathogen phellinus weirii die from failure to take up water and nutrients because the main roots are decayed.

The rot is one of the leading causes of dead and wind-thrown trees.

Expert foresters recommend removing infected trees and susceptible tree species within a 15-metre radius.

Some residents near the park have taken down Douglas firs and western hemlock on their properties.