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Tree removal causes flap

The removal of several large oak trees in the parking lot of Orchard Plaza has caused a bit of a stir.

The trees, planted some 20 years ago have been removed as part of an overall renovation of the Kelowna mall's parking lot.

Castanet received several emails over the weekend and a forum thread popped up protesting their removal.

"We started a parking lot renovation prior to the Target opening last year and this is just a continuation of that particular renovation," says Orchard Plaza Chief Operating Officer, Randy Lowe.

"What was happening with those trees, and we like trees too, is they were getting too large for our parking lot. The roots were pulling up a lot of our curbing."

He says it was becoming a challenge.

"The second thing is that they take in a lot of water so we are going to a more drought tolerant type of landscaping that is more in keeping with the Okanagan."

Lowe says there will be completely new landscaping and new asphalt overlay throughout the parking lot.

He says the oak trees will be replaced with a Honey Locust tree.

"You will notice in the Target section there has been trees planted pretty much where the other trees were. These new trees are not going to be quite as large.

The other ones were there for 20 years and probably if they were to do it all again they wouldn't have put in the large oak trees because they kind of took over."

Lowe says the new trees won't get quite as big but should still provide some shade.

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