LETTER – Does it make sense to plant trees where none existed?

(Image: City of Kamloops)

Regarding the City’s policy of tree protection. Much of Kamloops, particularly the lower elevations, were historically sagebrush grasslands.

Does it makes sense for the city to be trying to forest such areas? I don’t know.

On one hand, there are undoubted benefits to trees for people. On the other hand, we have to pump more water up our hills to feed them and we are spending serious cash to try and reduce fire risks in our semi arid city.

I do not know the history of the policy, but wonder if it was simply adapted wholesale from elsewhere or if it was reviewed to see how appropriate it is for Kamloops.


Editor’s note: An excerpt from the City’s Urban Forest Management Strategy: ”More trees can make the climate less arid. Although the semi-arid climate in Kamloops is a limiting factor to the establishment of trees, more trees can change the climate, as can fewer trees. Recognition of this fact can increase the motivation and interest in increasing the tree canopy in the City.”

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4 Comments on LETTER – Does it make sense to plant trees where none existed?

  1. Much of this valley, particularly before even the native peoples arrived, was desert and sage-brush. But is that a rational argument for not having trees? Trees preceded mankind, but, beasts that we are, we imposed our superior intelligence (Tolkien notwithstanding) upon them, and even killed some, replaced some, but still enjoy an amicable relationship…I have never been attacked ….yet…but thanks for the warning…

  2. Does it make sense to raise people where non used to exist. FN population never put huge stress on the land. If WE are going to dominate the world them we must look after it. Ergo trees must form part of that sustainable ecosystem. SO ! Yes // New trees are a must

  3. Thank you for your question, David Johnson. I wonder the source of your statement: “Much of Kamloops, particularly the lower elevations, were historically sagebrush grasslands.” Actually, sagebrush doesn’t like a lot of water – it grows on the hills and highlands. If you water sage like other plants, it dies. Trees grow best where rivers come together (Kamloops, etc.), where the water they need, clean and redistribute, is plentiful. We cut trees and put houses in their place because we like water too. Sage is not in competition with humanity for space to grow. It doesn’t need advocacy – but Trees do! Trees cannot defend themselves, and we need them and the gifts they naturally give. MORE FORESTS NOW where they were long before any of us alive arrived!

  4. I don’t feel like writing a treaty based on 30-plus years of arboricultural experience. Suffice to say it does make a lot of sense to plant trees where human live but not in the way the City of Kamloops is going about it. To cite a few of the issues, questionable planting procedures/methodologies, maintenance issues, species selection. Much money has been wasted, it is currently being wasted (and will continue until new people with good sense start making better decisions) with really little to show for in our urban forest.

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