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90-year-old Kerrisdale Sequoia tree will be turned into benches for Arbutus Greenway

The much-loved sequoia tree that stood on West 41st Avenue adjacent to the Shoppers Drug Mart in Kerrisdale for almost 90 years was removed March 3, but will eventually find a new life as benches placed along the Arbutus Greenway.
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The much-loved sequoia tree that stood on West 41st Avenue adjacent to the Shoppers Drug Mart in Kerrisdale for almost 90 years was removed March 3, but will eventually find a new life as benches placed along the Arbutus Greenway.

 This giant sequoia tree stood for nearly 90 years on West 41st Avenue and was a Kerrisdale landmark. Photo by Jennifer GauthierThis giant sequoia tree on West 41st Avenue, a Kerrisdale landmark, will soon be removed due to its ailing health. Photo Jennifer Gauthier

As reported last September, a horticulturist had determined the tree was not only sick, but was likely already dead. At the time, Bill Trafford with TPMG Capital real estate, which manages the property on which the tree grew, told the Courier the results of the horticulturist exam were “not good.” The tree had turned red and had been dropping large pieces of bark for about two years.

 The space on West 41st Avenue where an ancient sequoia tree was removed March 3. The stump of the tree was still visible March 4. Photo by Dan ToulgoetThe space on West 41st Avenue where an ancient sequoia tree was removed March 3. The stump of the tree was still visible March 4. Photo by Dan Toulgoet

“Unfortunately the tree roots extend under the road and the tree has been under heavy stress,” Trafford said at the time. “We’ve had a tree company take care of the tree for several years, but it was their latest recommendation that the tree come down. A full report was forwarded to the Kerrisdale Business Association as they had concerns too…”

So on a quiet Sunday evening, the tree was cut down leaving behind a stump large enough to make a bench on its own.

Terri Clark, executive director of the Kerrisdale Business Association, said in an email to the Courier, that Kerrisdale Lumber president Mark Perry took a large piece of the trunk of the tree to his warehouse where it will be dried out for about a year and then the Kerrisdale Business Association will get it milled.

 This large stump is all that remains of a historic sequoia tree that stood in Kerrisdale for almost 90 years. Photo by Dan ToulgoetThis large stump is all that remains of a historic sequoia tree that stood in Kerrisdale for almost 90 years. Photo by Dan Toulgoet

Clark said the association has asked the head shop teacher at Magee Secondary to use the wood — once it’s been milled — as a major project for his senior students next year. Eventually the two benches they’ve been asked to create will be placed at the Kerrisdale crossing of the Arbutus Greenway.

“We intend to affix a modest plaque on the benches to give reference to this once woody sentinel that was at the village’s heart for 90 or more years,” said Clark. “It seemed appropriate to me that it’s heart would remained with the community that was heartbroken at its demise.”

 The trunk of a massive sequoia tree removed from West 41st Avenue in Kerrisdale March 3. Photo courtesy TPMG CapitalThe trunk of a massive sequoia tree removed from West 41st Avenue in Kerrisdale March 3. Photo courtesy TPMG Capital

A note about the sequoia on the association’s website from last September, read in part, “the response of Kerrisdale’s populace has been amazing; so much love and concern for a stately wooden sentinel reminiscent of a time when the surrounding neighbourhood was only forest.”

“It’s so sad. It’s breaking everyone’s heart,” Clark told the Courier at the time.

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