By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The Town of Morinville will be spending approximately $35,000 this fall to remove, trim and plant trees in the community. The monies allotted for in the 2012 budget will mostly be used for purchase and planting; however, $10,000 will be used to employ an arborist to trim and prune larger trees.
“Trees are one those contentious things,” said Donald Fairweather, Morinville’s Public Works Department Operations Manager. “People love them but they don’t always like them right next to where they live. They get too big and they get frightened of them.”
There is reason to fear the trees. The fall plan calls for the removal of five poplar trees at the rear of Sunshine Lake that are destroying sidewalks, invading gardens, and dying.
Another two conifers which are also dying will be removed from land between Perras Place and St. Germain Place. They will be replaced with a smaller variety of tree.
The plan also calls for the removal of several trees from the median on 100 Avenue by Morinville Community High School. These trees will not be replaced at the request of Alberta Transportation.
Other trees will be removed on 100 Avenue in the downtown area because of shedding berries and bushy foliage. “Schuberts probably weren’t the right choice of tree therein the first place because they drop fruit and they get so bushy they obstruct signs like the crosswalk signs,” Fairweather explained. The plan is to replace the dying Schuberts with elm trees which have a higher canopy.
St. Jean Baptiste Park will also have some trees removed. Fairweather said the fall plan calls for the removal of six to eight conifers. “There are several large conifers in there which are starting to cause havoc with both the grass and allowing vandalism because they are obstructing the cameras pointed towards the fountain,” he said. “They’re also getting too large for that area.” The trees will be replaced with a broad leaf variety that will allow more light in the park.
But it is not all about removing trees. Fairweather said an avenue of trees will be planted along 100 Street to coincide with a trail being developed there in October.
The plan is for Morinville to develop a three-year tree plan for the community. Although there is no plan for adding trees to South Glens in 2012, administration said it is part of a longer term plan.
Tennis courts could get some work
Morinville’s Chief Administrative Officer Debbie Oyarzun said the town is in early talks with Sturgeon School Division about the tennis courts on their property. The courts were reduced to a single court this year after roots began emerging through the surface, a situation that created a safety concern.
Oyarzun said the division will be bringing the matter up at the board level and that there may be an opportunity to partner on the refurbishing of the courts.