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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.