LETTER – City needs a tree bylaw to protect important trees

(Image: Shannon McArthur)

On June 1 the attached letter was sent to and acknowledged by City Hall.

I’m a bit passionate about trees, and about Nature. This tree deserves our protection and appreciation. Part of my 20 years working at Surrey City Hall was in the Tree ByLaw Division. They have a bylaw that could save this tree. Kamloops doesn’t. Public opinion, however, can change the world. There’s something not mentioned in the letter – this tree has half-swallowed a shoe. It’s a Shoe Tree!

A PDF of the letter to Mayor and Council, including a pano-pic of the tree, is attached.

I’m inspired; I hope you are too!


Dear Mayor and Councilmembers:

Re: Protection of the Maple Tree at Schubert & Kent, backing on Halston Bridge.

The property was recently sold and subdivision plans are in process (no address available). I called the City on Tuesday; on Friday, I got a call from Brian of the City Trees division to tell me there are no rules to protect it.

Your website says the City has a “goal of increasing our community’s tree canopy to 20% from the current 15%”. This tree is substantial, and part of that 15%–

  • Three of me could not join hands around the trunk;
  • the canopy shields our neighbourhood from the noise of Halston traffic;
  • the volume of the canopy could not be replaced by “replacement trees” for decades;
  • that amount of tree takes up a lot of carbon!
  • according to the US EPA: “Shaded surfaces, for example, may be 20–45°F (11–25°C) cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded materials.
  • Evapotranspiration, alone or in combination with shading, can help reduce peak summer temperatures by 2–9°F (1–5°C).”

Please create a Tree Bylaw to protect such trees from development throughout the City. It should include a requirement for public consultation before consideration of a Tree Cutting Permit.

It should also include an inventory of trees of this nature — beginning with the Urban Tree tour. Expand it to include trees we love — on private land and public, whether owned by us, others or the City. Asking children to tell us of the trees they love will promote engagement; help them notice the Nature that surrounds them and build their ability to affect their world in a good way.

Thank you for the work you do in the world, and in our City.

Shannon McArthur

About Mel Rothenburger (9657 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on LETTER – City needs a tree bylaw to protect important trees

  1. John Noakes // June 4, 2022 at 6:11 AM // Reply

    Thanks for pointing out this matter, Shannon.
    I often walk by that place when walking our dog on Rivers Trail. The “For Sale” signs have been removed; there was a house on that single family property.
    A tree that size provides shade, a place for birds to nest & rest, partially blocks the noise from the Halston connector and filters carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis.
    Of note would be to look at how many “invasive species” of trees exist along the Rivers Trail between that point and Westmount Elementary School to the north along the North Thompson River. They are allowed to exist, establish and reproduce.
    It would appear that there may be a double standard.

  2. As a long time ISA Certified Arborist, active practitioner in all matters of Arboriculture and life long tree lover I applaud you Shannon for writing and caring. I warn you though this and previous council and this and past administrators are not interested nor they care (because if they did, things would be different in Kamloops). Over the years I have sent to them dozens of researched and scholarly articles about trees, their benefits and protection strategies employed by other municipalities world-wide. I frequently lamented the absence not only of a bylaw but of the token efforts they have put in in caring and enhancing our urban forest. Just recently they have turned a blind eye to the uncaring, unprofessional attitude by the contractor working at Riverside park with large and heavy equipment right over top of the fragile root zone of the very many established trees adorning the area. In general terms, it is very upsetting for a caring person to see the way Trawin and Christian are managing our city but especially so when it comes to the trees.

    Silent witnesses to the unfolding of time.

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